Three words sum up this first edition of the Rendez-vous des Arts Culinaires: Gastronomy, Discovery, Exchange. During a week, Chefs, Houses of wines and spirits and leaders in the tableware industry like Haviland, Daum and Quagliotti played the sharing game and presented their products and their savoir-faire, delighting the guests. Flashback on a unique event…
The Rendez-vous des Arts Culinaires week opened by honouring Japan. Takashi Kato, Chef of the restaurant Stella Maris*, prepared, with his team, three appetizers where both the Asian and European continent were represented : Sea Sardine with a daikon cannelloni, Red Tuna Tartar and wasabi cream, Sautéed Foie Gras cutlets with spices and a chocolate sauce.
Workshop Issé, gourmet food store exclusively dedicated to authentic Japanese products, had organised a tasting of sparkling Sake and Yuzu wine, Japanese citrus fruit, which matched beautifully the Chef’s creations.
The Suntory house, oldest Japanese distillery, organised a tasting around its three emblematic whiskies, two of which were appointed Best World Whisky: Hakushu, green and fresh, Hibiki, aged in the very rare Japanese oak Mizunara, and Yamakazi, both intense and delicate.
Pink orchids, chiselled black porcelain vases with butterflies, René Veyrat, Haviland and Quagliotti created a Japanese inspired table whose unequalled refinement opened the week.
It was Great-Britain’s turn to present its gastronomy and go against preconceptions with Jon Irwin, Chef of the Alain Milliat restaurant. He had prepared a Scottish Salmon «Label Rouge» with its «Devon Clotted cream», grilled beef with a «Victorian Spiced Marrow and Whisky Chutney», and a lemon curd meringue tartlet.
The Glenmorangie Scottish whisky, with its spicy character, and Ardbeg, rich and with a peat flavour, blended marvellously the chef’s preparations and gave a peak of the Scottish savoir-faire when it comes to spirits.
The owners of the Epicerie Anglaise also came to present their quality products, all from the British territory and representative of a land: scones, tea, haggis, mint sauce, lemon curd, Marmite, stilton, clotted cream, Devon custard…
Roses were the flowers of honour on the table thought by Haviland, René Veyrat Event and Quagliotti. Of Victorian inspiration, the decoration echoed the British “Tea-Time”. Only the Queen was missing…
The third day of the Rendez-vous des Arts Culinaires was dedicated to Spain. Alberto Herraiz, Chef of the Fogon, warmed the middle of the week by preparing an anchovy and salted butter caramel toast, a “del piquillo” pepper tarte tatin and a black pudding with an Spanish ham sauerkraut.
Elite Gourmet, association which created the first quality label given to high-end Spanish products, came to present their products of exception: tender tuna meat, lomo, asparagus and olive oil, pimientos del piquillo, fleur de sel, Boffard cheese, tomato juice as well as Spanish wines and gin mare.
A Spanish product tasting would not be complete without cava, sparkling wine made with the Champagne method. The Codorniu house presented the Cava Codorníu 1551, traditional cava, Anna de Codorníu, pure, feminine and striking cava, and Reina Maria Cristina, first cava Blanc de Noirs produced in Spain.
To conclude the Spanish day, Haviland, René Veyrat and Quagliotti decided to introduce ground cherries on the table for a presentation with orange tones, rather spicy!
The Thursday was dedicated to Italy. The executive chef of the Romantica Caffe restaurants, Enrico Masia, prepared the appetizers: boletus and parmesan risotto, Gnochetti Sardi with Bolognaise, and bread crostini with gorgonzola, nut and pear. For his risotto, the chef used fresh boletus from the Butet house, seasonal fruit, vegetables and edible flower business.
Cocktails with Campari and Apérol were made on demand by the bartender, who revisited centenary classics and gave them a modem twist: Apérol Spritz, Vodka Campari and Americano.
To stay close to the very summery theme of the day, Haviland, Quagliotti and René Veyrat Event chose to explore olive tree branches and associate them with miniature yellow orchids for a successful Mediterranean look.
The last country of the Rendez-vous des Arts Culinaires week was France and the Brittany region. The Michelin Star Chef Frédéric Simonin* chose to work simple products and honour the national land: a scallop cooked in its shell with seaweed butter from Jean-Yves Bordier, slightly acidic, a royal sea bream tartar with cider vinegar and walnut oil, and salted-butter caramel crêpes with a vanilla cream and candied apples.
The guests at the Rendez-vous des Arts Culinaires could also taste the four Bordier butters, created by Jean-Yves Bordier, last artisan to beat the butter in a wooden beater and salt his butter on demand: butter with Madagascar vanilla, Espelette chilli butter, lemon olive oil butter and smoked butter.
To accompany these appetizers, the Breton cider house Loïc Raison came to present their traditional, dry and sweet ciders, all made in Brittany.
For their last table, Haviland, René Veyrat Event and Quagliotti shaped a simple table, with pastoral colours and giant purple, blue and green hydrangea spheres.
Even if this first edition is over, the community lives all year round on Facebook, Twitter and here, on the blog.
5 countries, 5 Chefs, 5 Arts de Vivre, 20 official partners and 50 journalists, this first successful edition of the Rendez-vous des Arts Culinaires was the must-see event to Share our passion!
Pictures : (c) Aurore Lucas et Louise Barillec