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!


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, 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: as they are a sustainable farm and their quality is excellent.