French Fare In Alain Ducasse’s Kitchen
From the Market to the Table d’Hôte It’s no secret that the French hold the
secret to serving up incredibly rich gourmet food. This country has turned out so many great chefs that UNESCO named French gastronomy part of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage” in 2010. Sometimes elegant, sometimes rustic, but always exquisite with a dash of panache, French cuisine relies heavily on local products, like poultry, beef, lamb, vegetables and herbs, which flavor sauces that have no earthly equal. Artisan cheeses and baguettes warm from the oven are ever present and abundant, as are pastries that are intricately prepared and artfully presented. French chefs make it a daily practice to scour the markets for just the right ingredients for their culinary creations, before masterfully whisking, blending, pureeing, seasoning, sauteing, braising, baking and souffleeing their dishes to perfection. Experience a memorable taste of quintessential French fare during dinner at Fouquet’s in Paris, attracting celebrity clientele for more than a century.
“We must open our doors to all amateur cooks. They must be taught to feel, to learn and to understand what happens ‘backstage’ before delicious food appears on the table.” With these words, chefs trained by Alain Ducasse invite Tauck guests into his “‘l’Ecole de Cuisine” for a hands-on cooking class in Paris that any self-respecting foodie would just about kill for. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration but chef Ducasse is one of the world’s most innovative and acclaimed celebrity cooks – his culinary empire includes 27 restaurants with a whopping 19 Michelin stars, luxury inns, cooking schools, and 16 published books – and learning his cooking style from his chefs ensures delicious memories! Ducasse learned his craft growing up on a farm in southwest France, where he gained a love of cooking from his grandmother and kitchen skills from working under a number of famous chefs. His rise as a Michelin-starred chef was meteoric and his talent and reputation as one of the world’s finest chefs today still soar with the highest praise.
In the Footsteps of Julia Child
She demystified French cuisine as she mastered the art of French cooking, bringing the cassoulet into the casserole culture of the United States. Her approachable French cookbook, designed for the “servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children’s meals, the parent- chauffeur-den mother syndrome or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat” was as revolutionary as her TV cooking shows and inevitably down to earth and entertaining. Her inspiration came alive during her years in France, when she walked past cafés and markets fragrant with baguettes, enticing with sweet confections and sugared pastries, and simmering with savory stews and sauces. A lunch in Rouen proved to be a life-changing mouthwatering epiphany, forever reminding her “that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite — toujours bon appétit.” Follow in her footsteps on a walking tour with Paris and a local expert as your guides.
The Joys of Chocolate
Chloe Doutre-Roussell, the rock star author of The Chocolate Connoisseur, speaks, breathes and eats chocolate like nobody else. She received her formal training at the landmark Parisian tea salon, Ladurée, where she worked in production and management before heading off to London. She was chosen from among 3,000 candidates to run the chocolate department at London’s Fortnum & Mason, a position that propelled her to celebrity status as one of the world’s foremost chocophiles. Today you’ll
8 Watch video highlights at www.tauck.com/video
find her coaching, consulting and concocting confections that celebrate the real deal in the Marais district – think bars, not cakes or filled chocolates – as well as sharing tasty insights on the different styles of chocolate with Tauck guests who join us in Paris. Chloe says that “chocolate gives an immediate and substantial energy boost, thus increasing stamina. It also contains the same mood-lifting chemicals that rush in when we are experiencing feelings of love or lust.” All of which you just might feel during this very sweet tasting experience.
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