Across my Table Foodie adventures

An exclusive gourmet evening with Michelin Star Chef Baptiste

Friday, November 30, 2012Sudhakar

On 27th of November ITC Gardenia along with Four Seasons wines hosted an amazing gourmet dinner spread over 6 courses, each paired with a wine. And as if that were not enough, the meal was by Michelin Star Chef Baptiste Fournier from France. From Sancerre France, he has been voted as one of the top 6 young chefs in France by the Gault Millau guide and is the Executive Chef of his family owned restaurant La Tour and received his Michelin Star in 2011. He has also had the distinction of working with three-star Michelin Chefs such as Guy Savoy, Pourcel Brothers and the famed Alain Passard. So when you are invited to a formal gourmet evening with him at the helm there is no excuse for not attending. 

The meal kicked off with a Four Seasons Viognier being served. This is a still white wine with an off dry style. It has a fruity aroma and is ideally paired with fruit based salad dressings, light fish and even chicken. Mildly spiced food goes well with this.

Our first course - Fresh eggplant and crunchy vegetables. The eggplant was a puree that formed the base of this dish with all of the other vegetables, still retaining their crunch and cut into delicate florets (hoping this is the right term). The cherry tomato halves added that fresh tanginess to the salad. And yes, the wine did team up beautifully with it.
Course I - Fresh eggplant and crunchy vegetables
paired with 
a Four Seasons Viognier

With the salad setting the base, it was time for the second wine to be poured - this was a Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc - Another still white wine, perhaps a little more potent than the earlier one. Served chilled, this is a wine that goes well with greens, salads, rich fish and seafood. It also pairs well with tomato based sauces.

Course II was an artichoke risotto with black truffle. This for me was the absolute highlight of the evening. Getting risotto that is done so well is not easy in Bangalore. And this was spectacular. The heart of the artichoke and the artichoke itself were pickled two ways and they added that twang to the dish which helped in breaking the monotony that can sometimes plague risottos.

Course II - Artichoke risotto with black truffle
paired with a 
a Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc

Course III saw us continuing with Sauvignon Blanc and this is where the vegetarians and non-vegetarians went their separate ways. We carnivores were served a steamed water perch on a bed of spinach. A lovely lime court bouillon was poured onto this. The fish was nice, but what was more interesting was the spinach. Unlike what it looks, it was actually whole leaves mushed up together. It was the bouillon though that brought the dish together and the lime really did stand out.

Course III - Steamed water perch on a bed of spinach
paired with 
Sauvignon Blanc

The vegetarians were brought something that looked so pretty, I would have mistaken it for a dessert if I hadn't read the menu. This was a mousse of sorts of beetroot, orange and goat cheese. On any given day goat cheese can take a little getting used to, but it was the beetroot-orange that really stole the show. Every bite gives you this orange after taste literally making you want to go hunting after it.

Course III - for vegetarians - beetroot, orange and goat cheese

And then came wine #3 - Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a still red wine and is dry. It is best served chilled and goes well with red mets, mature cheeses and char-grilled vegetables. The meat course for us was Lamb Chops with zucchini, asparagus and Pan jus. The lamb chops were great, maybe a little well done for me, but somehow the pan jus seemed to have gotten some of the bitter flavor that zucchini can give out. But I still managed to fish out the chops and avoid the pan jus. The red wine, though made for a great pairing.

Course IV - Lamb Chops with zucchini, asparagus and Pan jus
paired with 
Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The vegetarians had Mushroom and Mash Potatoes with olives. And it was exactly what the description said. Mashed potatoes just can't go wrong and it did not here.

Course IV for the vegetarians - Mushroom and Mash Potatoes with olives

Then a bit of a palate cleanser with a Fresh French Surprise, Pineapple & Basil. The pineapple was ravioli styled and stuffed with a very pleasant foam. The sorbet had a tanginess from pineapple juice and the basil added that slight touch of savory that made it perfect.

Course V - Fresh French Surprise, Pineapple & Basil

Dessert was served with Bouvet Ladubay Rose Excellence. A light pink in color, this falls into the category of wines I will happily have refills of. Dessert was Hazelnut and white chocolate, Ice and crispy cappucino. Cold, chocolatey, nutty and with a kick of coffee - need I say more! And oh yes, the wine really had me wishing for me.

Course VI - Hazelnut and white chocolate, Ice and crispy cappucino
paired with Bouvet Ladubay Rose Excellence

The amazing team with Chef Baptiste Fournier. They deserved the loud applause from the 97 strong crowd for the wonderful meal and service they put up in two hours. Understandably Chef Baptiste and his colleague Alexander were exhausted having done this many times over across the ITCs in India.

L to R - Chef Baptiste, Chef Alexander, Chef Ayesha
and the team from ITC Gardenia

This is one meal that is going down in my list of meals that I will remember fondly for this year. The food, wine and the service were impeccable and that is a sure shot formula to a great event.

A more detailed version of this wonderful evening is at this link

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