Monthly Archives: January 2009

Menu from saturday night dinner


For once, I just wanted to share the menu of a dinner my friend Jean-Luc and I cooked for some friends at home. We also did the wine pairing and yes it was delicious!

Sean urchin with lemon juice
Dungeness crab served on top of avocado puree
Clams with soffritto
Warm oysters with champagne sauce
Scallops in their shells
Spicy lobster
Poached halibut with fennel confit
Chocolate cake

And if you ask for what kind of wines we had with it, i just added a photo of “the victims”.


Gaston LenĂ´tre


I’ve learnt this morning that Gaston Lenôtre died today. He was 88years old. If you live in the US, you may not have heard his name, eventhough he actually opened a restaurant with Paul Bocuse,another “maitre” in the cooking world, at Disney World, in Orlando(Chefs de France). But Lenotre was one of those people who helpedevolve the art of cooking, and more importantly the “patisserie”.

Forsome reasons, even though I love cooking, I’m not a big “sweet” fan. Iusually skip that part in a meal (even though I do prepare it for myguests!). And yet, I’m very sad about his death, since herevolutionized the desserts. He said it many times himself, he wantedto fight “conformism”. He hated to be like everybody else, or to dowhat everybody else was doing. So he invented much lighter desserts,with new tastes, like his famous “succes”. This really created a newtrend and inspired so many “patissiers” in so many places in the world.

On top of being a great chefs, Gaston Lenôtre was also a fantasticbusiness man. In 1960, he created a “traiteur” service, which becameinsanely successful. He actually built a real empire that he sold 25years later to Accor. He opened high end bakeries in the middle of Paris and all over the world, cooking schools, restaurants…

He was among that generation of French chefs who revolutionized cooking across the world, while following traditions and the “art of cooking”.

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Roasted chicken with olives, onions, lemon and garlic

I just tried a new roasted chicken recipe last week-end, and it turned out so well, that I thought I should share it on this blog. It’s dead easy, and really tasty. It’s also very fast, which is very convenient, especially on a sunday evening, when you may not have much time to cook. Also, as a disclaimer, this recipe is inspired by Susan Spicer, a New Orleans chef, who wrote an awesome book, Crescent City Cooking that I highly recommend.

You’re going to need 2-3 lemons, 15 garlic cloves, 1 cup of olives (good quality stuff!), some rosmary and 1-2 onions. Pre-heat the oven at 450F. The first step is very easy. Take a lemon, and sprinkle the juice all over the chicken. Let rest for 10/15 minutes. This is actually going to almost brine your chicken, which is quite important. If you have more time, you can actually brine the chicken. Once done, add the zest of 1 lemon between the skin and the meat of the chicken, on the breast side. Add 4-5 garlic cloves there as well. Then cover the chicken with olive oil. Add some chopped rosemary on the chicken, heavily salt, and add some pepper. Put the quarters of 1 lemon in the cavity, as well as some rosemary and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Transfer the chicken in the oven (breasts side up), for a good 30 minutes (the chicken must be brown).

Remove the chicken from the oven. In the same tray, surround the chicken with the olives (pitted), the quarters of your peeled lemons, the rest of the garlic cloves, the zest of one lemon, some chopped rosemary, the quarters of your onions and a tablespoon of olive oil. Turn down the ove to 400F. Put back in the oven (breasts side down this time) for 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven. Mix the vegetables in the tray, and put back in the oven (turn the chicken again). And let cook as long as need (you may need as much as 20 minutes).

Once ready, just remove the chicken from the oven. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!