Log on to www.lefooding.com check out events all over Paris (and Brussels & Beziers) during Fooding week. All the super-chefs do fantastic gigs in markets, stores, their restaurants, you name it. The key is a password, published on the website so you can drop everything, race over to the appointed address, say the magic word, and celebrate the launch of the Guide Fooding with tasty morsels thrown in. Wednesday 30th November sees Yannick Alleno, of, The Meurice, at a restaurant éphémère at Le Carré Saint Paul, in the heart of the Marais. There he’ll serve a menu starting with a geleé de borsht, a foie gras, a beef dish and a chestnut dessert. He’s pairing this with Cahors wines and Acqua Panna mineral water. “It’s a bit of fun, we’ll probably do crepes and kebabs too”, said the dynamic Alleno. See you there then.
Need a job? Like to mix with royalty? The Master of the Household’s Department responsible for catering, housekeeping and entertaining at the Queen’s official residence are looking for trainee Butlers. “You will be motivated, reliable and able to communicate, possess initiative and a flexible positive attitude”. Apply to the Recruitment Assistant at Buckingham Palace, London, SW.1. Hurry, closing date is 24th November and don’t forget The Royal Household is committed to equality of opportunity; whatever that means.
If you haven’t hopped on Eurostar, heading for Buckingham P. and a post with Her Maj, here are some “chic et pas cher” restaurants for the week:
Always wanted to party at L’Etoile but are not interested in starting your evening when you’re usually under the duvet? For you Tony Gomez (the owner) has created “Dejeuner des Copines”. What? “It’s a new idea and very feminine”, insists Gomez. For 35€ expect one dish, by chef Eric Chatelard, could be an organic salad, pasta, carpaccio, and dessert (most important n’est pas?) plus a glass of wine or champagne. “And if you’re in a hurry, tell the staff and we’ll get you out in time”, promises Gomez. But what about the Ferrari/Rolls? “No problem, the car-parking service is thrown in”, smiles Gomez. After all he’s used to welcoming the rich and famous, which you are.
Sorry, you can’t eat at Café Drouant (home of average food and Prix Goncourt awards) until the end of December when it re-opens with Antoine Westerman at the piano. Who? Westerman has the ** restaurant Buerehiesel, Strasbourg, recently re-opened the classic “Mon Vieil Ami”, Paris. Watch this space.
I never expected to eat my dinner out of a sardine can! Then I met Jean François Bernard at his recently opened restaurant, Carte Blanche. Your motherwouldn’t approve, but maybe if you explained that these are no ordinary cans, but “Boites Insolites”, inspired by Bernards’ Portuguese travels/culinary research. And, the originality doesn’t end there at Carte Blanche’s original zinc bar. After you’ve chosen your starter boite (tuna, salmon, sardine) from the blackboard selection, continue with a barbecue of chicken. Four skewers of marinated and barbied perfect poulet, served on chic granite slabs. By their side a mini-cocotte which, when opened, reveals fragrant vegetables. There’s also tuna and St. Jacques à la plancha, as well as joue de veau and porc with a minestrone of vegetables.
“Sometimes we change the menu twice a day”, explains Claude Dupont (Bernard’s partner, ex-Gagnaire). “After one visit, you really want to return out of curiosity”, says journo Philippe Toinard. “Just to see how wacky they become with their presentations. How on earth will they find a new way of serving, le boeuf confit au vin rouge, la royale de foie gras et pommes vertes or, crème brulée amandes et mirabelles cuisinées”.
You may need a glass of wine, you’re not dreaming. Glass of champagne Delamotte (7€50) Chablis Rosette de Moor 2003 (5€60) Or, Claude’s choice Domaine Chiroubles 2003 go on, you’re worth it, take a bottle, it’s fine and fruity, it’ll do you good (27€.50).
As we go “to press” news reaches us that the new President of Relais & Chateau is Jaume Tàpies. Who? Tàpies darling, the dashing thirty-something multi-lingual Spaniard, owner of El Castell du Ciutat, Le Seu d’Urgell. His hostellerie is perched 650 meters up in the Pyrenees, 200kms from Barcelona. (+34 973 35 0000). www.relaischateau.com/elcastel. Now there’s a Spaniard in the works many French are saying, “c’est un scandal, il est pas Francais humph….” Most were expecting Jean-Andre Charial to take over the famous 5 C’s. Ah well c’est la vie. Sign up for the Relais & Chateaux 2006 on www.relaischateaux.com
12 rue de Presbourg, 16th (Metro: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile)
T: 01 45 00 78 70 (Lunch Mon-Fri).
6 rue Lamartine, 9th (Metro:Cadet),
T: 01 48 78 12 20
Menus: from 23-31€. Shut Sat lunch-Sunday.
Mon Vieil Ami,
69 rue St. Louis en L’Ille, 4th
01 40 46 01 35 (Metro: Pont Marie)
Menus 15-38€ Shut Mon-Tues