Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back from France

Back from three weeks in France, full of ideas, full of recipes, full of souvenirs;














Paris, three wonderful days:

Not to be missed:

Velib
I personnally did not know Paris as a city of bicycles but Mayor Bertrand Delanoe changed that perception. "Vélib'" rental program with thousands of three-speed unisex bikes at hundreds of stations or "service points" around the city. You'll pay €1 for a day ticket or €5 for a seven-day ticket, which lets you take an unlimited number of 30-minute journeys. Trips longer than 30 minutes incur additional fees.
You can pick up a bike at any Vélib' station and return it at any other. Just to make sure you that don't keep it, you'll be required to supply credit-card information before taking a bike, and the bike will sound an alarm if you try to haul it back to Huddersfield or Hackensack.
Tips:
American credit cards don't work in the vending machine, but if you try the other payment option: You can buy a 1- or 7-day Vélib' ticket on the Web.
Vélib' bikes are popular, and occasionally you'll find that all bicycles are rented. Less commonly, you may go to return a bike and find that all the available slots are occupied. (If this happens, try another station; they're scattered across the city and are usually no more than 300 meters apart.)
Info can be found on the web site www.velib.paris.fr
We loved Velib because you feel free in Paris, it is cheap and you can eat as much as you want without gaining pounds as you are biking everywhere at any times; no bneeds for expensive cabs anylonger !

Restaurants:
Eventhough Euro is a bit high right now, you can still enjoy tons of restaurants at a very charming price; I would recommend my dear friend's blog http://bestrestaurants.fr/. It is written in French but very helpfull;
If you are planning a visit in the Marais, in Paris; they are all great but stay away from the very famous Les Marronniers or just experience the worst service ever in your life; if you are lucky, you will be yealled at because the poor waitress is tired and that the fridge does not work, and it is your fault !! Rather, try Cafe Vitto, on the right of the previous one, they are charming, good service, and prices are so much better anyway !
You can easily find a three course meals for 10 euros at lunch time and 18 euros at dinner time; dont hesitate to have the pitcher of wine for the beverages: Rosé is for sure the best if chilled and if you go at summer time.
Too much to describe in one post on this blog, feel free to email me if you have specific questions. Ill be back with somes beautiful pictures from the South of France !




Friday, August 28, 2009

Wow, it’s been a while since our last blog entry! Isn’t it amazing how time slips by? Where should I even start?

First off, my voice is new to this blog as the most recent addition to the La Bonne Cuisine team. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Elaine Herman and I came on board in February as the Director of Sales. To say I hit the ground running is an understatement! Part of my job is to introduce La Bonne Cuisine to as many people as possible, and I’ve been doing just that, by meeting people, hosting tastings, and though my involvement in the different organizations that serve the events industry.

So, what have we been up to since the beginning of the year? Let’s see…

· In April, we competed in the First Annual Grilled Cheese Cook-Off at AT&T Park. We are the proud winners of first Golden Spatula Award, which is proudly on display in our salon.




· In June, we were the exclusive caterer for the MPI Gala at the California Academy of Sciences. The theme was The Elements, and we created unique buffets reflecting Fire, Water, Air and Earth. We are still using all of the herbs in our Earth station in our kitchen!



· July has been a busy month. In addition to our regular events, we were one of the sponsors of the Regency Centennial Celebration where we had an amazingly beautiful station. We created a tent in the Grand Ballroom with a hanging buffet inside, which was a definite show stopper! The following week we made the desserts for the ISES Gala, where I had the honor of receiving the Rising Star of the Year Award. I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I was to be recognized by my peers…it meant the world to me.

· August is winding down and it has been a busy month. The month started with ISES Event World and the SEARCH Foundation event here in San Francisco, and then the boys left for France, leaving me all by my lonesome here in the office. I wish I could go with them…no fair! Somebody has to mind the store. Now that they are back we will have lots of recipes to add to our repertoire.

Check back to see what else is going on here at La Bonne Cuisine. I’ll do my best to update our blog more often!

Elaine

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Luxury cuisine : Caviar




One day before vaccation; as mentionned before I will be in Paris and South of France enjoying great cuisine, perfect chilled Rosé, and visiting some exciting old villages !




Last week, some clients wanted to add caviar on their wedding menu and therefor were asking a lot of questions. Belwo are most of their questions and our answers.

What Is Caviar?
Caviar is the salted eggs from three types of sturgeon fish: Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga.

Aren't All Fish Eggs Caviar?
No, only the eggs from these three types of sturgeon fish can be called Caviar.

Where Does Caviar Come From?
The highest quality Caviar comes from the Caspian Sea. Russia and Iran surround the Caspian Sea. The oldest and largest Caviar fisheries in the world are in Astrakhan, Russia. Some are as old as 200 years. But if you want to follow the seafood watch program from the Monterrey Aquarium http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx, we do recommend using only caviar coming from farms and grown in the US

How Is Caviar Processed?
Caviar is processed by taking the roe (one large sac) and running it over a very fine mesh screen that separates the eggs into separate pieces. The eggs then fall into a large bowl that the ikrjanschik (caviar maker in Russian) then adds precise amounts of pure salt. It takes at least 10 to 15 years of apprenticeship until the ikrjanschik is allowed to process the Caviar on his own. The salt is added to prevent freezing, as Caviar must be stored at between 28 to 31 degrees. The Caviar is then graded and packed into 4 pound tins.

What Is The Difference In The Caviar Types ?
Beluga is the largest of these three types of sturgeon fish and as such is highly prized for the large size of its eggs. It is also the rarest of the sturgeon fish. The Beluga can weigh over 2500 pounds and reach lengths of 20 feet or more. Beluga Caviar ranges in color from very light to dark gray.

Osetra is a medium size sturgeon fish generally reaching 10 feet and weighing 500 pounds or more. Osetra Caviar ranges in color from bark brown to golden yellow. It has a unique nut flavor.

Sevruga is the smallest and most abundant of the three sturgeons. It reaches 7 feet and weighs up to 150 pounds. The eggs are small and gray in color.

What Does Caviar Taste Like?
Contrary to what most people think, good quality Caviar NEVER tastes salty. High quality Caviar processed in the "Malossol" (Russian for little salt) style does not have a salt taste at all. The taste of Caviar is best described as a breath of fresh clean ocean air. It has a consistency of butter and melts in your mouth.

How Long Will Caviar Last At Home?
Caviar will last about 1 week at home in your refrigerator. It should be stored in the coldest part, usually in the meat compartment. Only buy Caviar that you will eat in 2-3 days.

How Much Caviar Should I Serve?
You should plan on at least 1 oz. per person, any less is just a tease.

How Do I Serve Caviar?
Caviar should be served in its glass jar sitting on crushed ice. For large servings it should be left in its tin on crushed ice. The serving spoon should be Mother of Pearl. Never use silver or metallic spoons as they react with the Caviar and give it a bad taste. Caviar should be eaten alone with a good Brut Champagne or ice cold Vodka. Never serve good quality Caviar with any accompaniments, such as eggs or onions. This is to hide the taste of low quality Caviar.

What brand is La Bonne Cuisine mostly using: http://www.tsarnicoulai.com/ as they are a sustainable farm and their quality is excellent.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vacations in the South of France


Vacations

Soon will come August and I feel very lucky to go back to France for three weeks; those French are having tons of vacations; well I will be mixing pleasures such as sipping Rose de Provence by the pool, but also meeting with some fantastic great cheese makers, Black Truffle Distributor, and wineries

I thought that since the South of France will be my main destination I would make you discover one of the best place in the South

When it comes time to go back and visit, even though Paris remains an enchanted city, the South of France is the place to recharge our batteries, to relax and dine on amazing lunches and dinners by the sea.
It is impossible to cover all the beauties of the South, but here are a few:




Village:
Èze is famous worldwide for the view of the sea from the top of its hill, and it is a renowned tourist site on the French Riviera. It is home to the Botanical Garden of Eze, known for its collection of cactus and succulents as well as its panoramic views. Walt Disney spent a significant amount of time in Eze. The oldest building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix and dates back to 1306


Le Château de la Chèvre d'Or in the mediaeval city of Eze sits between the sky and the Mediterranean Sea and offers a rare, warm, family-friendly atmosphere. La Chèvre d’Or is one of the best restaurants on the Côte d’Azur.
A real living treasure, the gourmet restaurant “La Chèvre d’Or” reveals the magic of fine food, with the subtlety of flavor, heady aromas and the characteristic spirit of grands crus. A winning combination of contemporary and traditional cuisine makes this one of the jewels in the crown of the Relais & Châteaux in Eze.
Dishes can take on unexpected new dimensions; crispy, crackling, melting in the mouth and delighting even the most refined palate.






City:
Hyères is a town and commune in the southeast of France; More than 7,000 palm trees are growing throughout the city and some 100,000 are produced every year for exportation; Hyères, the city of palm trees, was once the favorite summer resort of celebrities, some of the intellectual elite and the rich. The magnificent homes that were built near the old city in the beginning of the century are still there. The Hyéres Islands, Porquerolles Island, Port-Cros Island, and Levant Island, or Golden Isles (Iles d'Or), are three islands off the coast of Var County, east of Toulon. The name "golden" is said to have been bestowed upon them during the Renaissance because of the light reflected from the golden-brown mica shale.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009



On behalf of all of us at La Bonne Cuisine, Happy New Year 2009!

We had such a wonderful year in 2008. It started out slow but it ended up awesome. We created a lot of new recipes. Our best seller for the year was our 7 hours braised beef for sure. Oh, and the Coconut mousse in a Mini Mona Lisa Dark Chocolate Cup was a hit.

Eduardo, our Chef de Cuisine and myself spent a lot of time developing molecular recipes. That was a lot of fun Just imagine that you can make any liquid solid, and any solid liquid… imagine the possibilities! So we came up with a fantastic Apple Caviar. I invite you to request this with your next Duck Raviolis order…to die for!

Sebastien, our awarded designer became crazy with the grand opening of the California Academy of Sciences as he created magnificent designs to compliment the museum: Floating trays with Salmon Mousse in the African Hall, Willy Wonka style Candy Gardens for the kids events, Transparency Station with custom made plexi-glass buffet topped with a Clear tomato and Cucumber Gazpacchio in test tubes…

Angela succeeded to make all our new staff so happy and welcomed that they want to be part of our core team. This is great because as our as our amazing events get bigger, so must our core team!

How will 2009 be? Well I guess we don’t know but it looks bright from our side. It appears that lots of brides and grooms are getting engaged and are hiring our company for their most important day. We love brides at La Bonne Cuisine. As a reminder we offer Courtesy Tasting of our cuisine for all of you getting married so don’t hesitate..Chardonnay is in the fridge and ready for you .

I’ll let you go now. Look for one of us to give you details or fun things happening at La Bonne Cusiine on a weekly basis blog if we can !!

Again BONNE ANNEE