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“I tasted caviar for the first time when I was at Taillevent; it seemed curious because it’s raw! I was intrigued by the iodized flavor and grainy texture,” chef Tomy Gousset recalled one day last week at Tomy&Co, the Michelin-starred flagship of his three successful Paris neo-bistrots.
So, hardly surprising that chef’s collaborating with the French Association Caviar d’Aquitaine for the 3rd edition of the culinary challenge, “Operation Caviar Plaisir,” when a young chef is given carte blanche to develop new dishes, with wine pairings, showcasing the beautiful black stuff. Former chefs were über bistronomes Christian Etchebest and, last year, Yves Camdeborde.
Tomy has created exciting new recipes – one for each of his three Parisian establishments – delicious dishes to discover à la carte during the upcoming festive season.
It’s an astute marketing concept, since people tend to be a bit overwhelmed and dismiss caviar as an elitist product. Operation Caviar Plaisir gives the new generation of young chefs a chance to showcase Aquitaine caviar “bistronomy style,” combining noble but not expensive ingredients, hence widening its appeal.
Marso&Co, 16 rue Vulpian, 13th. Tel: 01 45 87 37 00
The Mediterranean, taking in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and even North Africa and Lebanon, influenced the dishes here. Creamy Burrata, red endive salad with caviar d’Aquitaine (€19). Sommelier Michael Morais suggests champagne Etienne Calsac, “Echappée Belle” (€18 per glass). “Festive bubbles, mineral, fresh and refreshing. The 100% Chardonnay has a low proportion of Pinot Noir, balances perfectly with the acid notes of the cheese and the salty caviar.”
Tomy&Co. 22 rue Surcouf, 7th. Tel: 01 45 51 46 93
“From Aquitaine to Brittany, I associate these regions with Saint-Jacques carpaccio, caviar d’Aquitaine and fresh cream (€35). I aim to respect the product, playing on its interesting texture, and the acidity, slight salinity, crunchy radish, notes of the earth, and crispy puffed rice”, Tomy explains
The perfect wine pairing is Saint-Peray cuvée Tradition, 2018 from the Northern Rhône Valley by winemaker Yohann Michel (€13). “It’s in-mouth notes are aromatic due to the Marsanne and Roussanne grapes,” says Somm Morais
Hugo&Co, 48 rue Monge, 5th. Tel: 09 53 92 62 77
Inspired by fried chicken with caviar at David Chang’s NYC restaurant, is a dish made with Tapioca, caviar d’Aquitaine (€20). This is a high-end jumbo fritter made with tapioca, a crunchy delight, fried Brazilian style. It’s crowned with caviar, has a touch of Basque sheep cheese – chopped fresh cuttlefish leaf adds a vegetal note – and the cubes sit on a bed of frégola (Sardinian couscous). The Somm suggests Port! “Extra dry from Quinta do Noval it reveals a very dry side, lively and sharp, mineral, super refreshing in the mouth (€10)
Need to Know :
The Caviar Association of Aquitaine combines four producers the Kaviar group, Prunier Manufacture, the Esturgeonnière and Caviar de France, combining sustainability and production ethics of the highest standards.
Aquitaine caviar are sturgeon eggs (species Acipenser Baerii) hatched in the Aquitaine region in southwest France. The farms are located in the south of the Gironde and along its estuary, the Isle-en-Dordogne and Adour (Gers) the heart of the Bassin d’Arcachon (on the edge of the Leyre) and – at the entrance to the Arcachon Basin – Lacanau a clear water tributary of the Great Leyre.
Lead photo credit : Buratta salade d'endives Caviar d'Aquitaine by chef Tomy Gousset