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French finesse

Vincent Benassy went to law school, started his career as a sports coach and is now a master chef! The man who is behind the famed De Bouche a Orielle (Word of Mouth) restaurant in Paris was in Calcutta with his traditional French cooking with interesting innovations. His signature dishes are part of the Cuisine da Loire festival at ITC The Sonar Calcutta in association with Bouvet-Ladubay Wines.

BEURRE BLANC
(WHITE BUTTER SAUCE)

  • Saute six shallots or thinly- sliced onions. Add 500 ml of dry white wine and stir till translucent.
  • Put 150 ml of liquored cream. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add unsalted butter (200 g) and stir well so that it blends into a fine paste.
  • Serve with grilled fish, mashed potatoes or carrots.

Serves 6

“Cooking is all about individuality and personal style,” says Benassy. He comes from the historical town of Samour, in the Loire valley, which is also the birthplace of Bouvet-Ladubay. “My cooking is definitely inspired by the traditional cuisine of the area I come from. The Loire valley, which is also known as the ‘garden of France’ has a rich variety of vegetables. The idea of the cuisine is to stay around the taste of the ingredient. It is a soft and delicate taste with minimal or no spices,” explains Benassy.

The French master chef has brought gastronomic delights like traditional French bread served with a medley of black-eyed beans sauteed in champagne; oven-baked butter-herbed button mushroom; thin puff pastry tarts layered with Chinon red onion fondue and fresh mushroom topped with garlic cream. There is also the chef’s grandmother’s recipe for chocolate mousse.

On the subject of the correct wine with one’s food, chef Benassy feels this choice has to be personal. “It is entirely your choice and fancy. No matter what the rulebook says, you can try things differently. You can try a grilled lamb with Bouvet Rose or a fish fillet in white sauce with a Chinon Rouge.”

Chef Benassy’s creations will be available at the West View Bar & Grill till December 15 for dinner (7pm to 11.45pm). An a la carte meal for two would cost Rs 2,200 (plus taxes) and a table d’hote meal for two would be Rs 3,500 (plus taxes).

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