Product

5 chefs share their essential product for an Easter menu

  • 18 March 2019
  • min

Asparagus

By Simon Boyer, executive chef at Le Chalet de la Forêt restaurant, Uccle

Its name evokes springtime and it can be eaten at any point in the meal, from a soup starter through to a dessert. In Uccle, Belgium, Simon Boyer, executive chef at the two-Michelin-star restaurant Le Chalet de la Forêt, offers green asparagus browned in foaming butter with a little ham, a lot of thyme, garlic and “then well glazed with white stock to make it beautifully shiny and crisp.”

Foie gras

By Nicolas Conraux, chef at La Butte à Plouider, Finistère (France)

“There is a tradition that I’ve inherited from my roots in Alsace: cooking foie gras at Easter. Each week, we receive excellent lobes with a freshness that avoids losing too much product. We prepare it mi-cuit, in a terrine. Then for each service, we emulsify the foie gras with seawater and add seaweed collected by our coastal fishermen at high tide. Naturally, we don’t need to add salt because of the seawater and seaweed that give our foie gras its perfectly salty, iodine taste, and great freshness. It is then molded in a “beurrier à eau” or water-cooled butter dish, according to the old method of preserving butter used in Brittany. We replace the water with seawater, keeping the foie gras in contact with the salty water to protect it. We then serve it from a pedestal table, by the spoonful with a seaweed brioche baked in our bakery, Le Fournil de la Butte. The creation of the quenelle is also a sight to see and time for our front of house team to explain to our diners the process in detail and what makes our crème de foie gras iodée so special.”

Crédit : Matthieu Cellard

Milk-fed veal

By Guillaume Lejeune, chef at Domaine du Vieux Moulin d’Eprave et de L’Inattendu à Rochefort (Belgique)

“We cook the milk-fed veal sous-vide at a low temperature, packed in hay. We use the very first hay from a local producer with a farm not far from us, right next to the restaurant, to retain all its flavors and aromas. It adds a floral aromatic note. The low temperature allows us to control the cooking to the core, to avoid damaging the fiber of the meat. This makes the meat exceptionally tender. To make the jus, we take the bones and make a simple reduction finished with butter, with black smoked garlic.”

Milk-fed lamb

Par Thierry Defrade, chef at Le Scheltema in Brussels, Belgium

I like to propose a leg of lamb prepared simply with a little jus and a gratin dauphinois, either with ratatouille or pan-fried zucchini. To add a little fre ashness, the chef likes to serve it with asparagus meunière. “It has to be made with white or Lauris asparagus, with a meunière preparation, lightly cooked in bouillon and then pan fried with a little butter to accompany the milk-fed lamb.”

Chocolate

By Yoan Dessarzin, patisserie chef at the InterContinental de Marseille, France

For Easter 2019, Yoan Dessarzin, pastry chef at the InterContinental in Marseille, has decided not to create the traditional chocolate egg. “I’m not a big fan of ending a meal with a chocolate dessert. I prefer to combine it with fruit or a floral herb like lemon balm to refresh it and avoid a heavy end to the meal.” With his dessert, named Eclosion, he offers a 72% cacao dark chocolate that he refreshes with a fairly sweet blood orange marmalade with tangy notes. “I use the whole thing: you’ll find pieces of fruit inside, we use the juice to make the jelly, and the skin to make the zest that adds even more flavor to the compote.” The shape is inspired by ikebana, the Japanese floral art, to give it volume and lightness. “We make a chocolate tube and place it in the center of the plate, we add a freshly-opened pastry shell and fill it with an orange dessert.

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