Timeless and Always Fabulous. April in Paris.
It’s a rainy early April day in Chicago.
But a girl can dream.
This week I’ve been dreaming of all things French. Why? We have an amazing couple from London who is planning a wedding, French fête-style. They want us to re-create favorite dishes, from their favorite restaurants in Paris. Of course, Chef Shawn is up to the task. But, I keep finding myself in meetings, talking about Paris…and dreaming that I could be there right now, too.
In a perfect world, I would be spending this Spring afternoon at Mama Shelter in the 20th, sipping one of Philippe’s Cucumber-Mint Martinis. (Think Vodka Kettle One, Cordial de Fleur de Sureau, Concombre, Menthe Fraiche, Pur Jus de Citron Frais. Then think: Yum.)
The perfect accompaniment to sipping one of these refreshing libations? Why, flipping through an Elle Décor, of course. Then, planning my next eating adventure. I would be thinking: Petrelle, Pierre Gagnaire, or Guy Savoy? Then again, perhaps something more casual in our arrondissement?
Café Noir perhaps?
If I can’t be in the 20th, I suppose I belong in the 1640th (Walnut Street, Chicago, that is,) recreating with Chef Shawn this amazing wedding tasting menu based on these favorite French haunts. Finishing with a dramatic flourish was to be the couple’s favorite dessert of all time — one they had enjoyed in Paris, “La Pomme”.
Here’s where my heart stops and I pray to the food Gods.
The client happily sent us the link. What we had to go on was the description of “La Pomme” as quoted from the food snob here….
“Seated in the centre of the plate was a perfect shimmering sphere of harlequin green, its shadow traced by spots of silvery apple sauce of ascending size. Ostensibly impenetrable, access in was allowed with the aid of a spoon and a smart smack. The fruity-fragranced, sugary shell withheld a milky, effervescent mousse of sweet-sour cider scattered with small squares of Granny Smith. Underneath this was concealed crushed Carambar (a caramel bonbon each child in France would be familiar with), caramelised riz soufflé (rice crispies), crushed Bréton biscuit and pop rocks; all upon a Génoise sponge stand. It may read like a mishmash collage of confectionary, but it was fun, individual and, most importantly, yum.”
Luckily Chef Shawn is, indeed, a food God. In equal parts, he is: Master in the Kitchen, Magician and Engineer and Translator of the Google link. Bless him. He constantly amazes! Our Entertaining Company waiter arrived with “La Pomme”. Bride and Groom “oohed” and “ahhed” – Instantly transported back to the spot where they first thought: LOVE! I “Merci’d”. We cracked into the sugar orb, exploding with flavor.
So, I suppose, if I am to be in Chicago on this raw, damp Chicago day, it is hardly a hardship to experience a culinary adventure of my own in our very own kitchens. Every day seems to present a passport to another land. Luckier than I could have imagined. Non!?!