An email popped up on the screen with a plaintive request. “Could I come for a one-day class to Louviers?” Normally, my classes in Louviers are either four or six days but I looked at my calendar, saw the day was available, and said “Sure!”
What ensued was a rollicking day of cooking lunch and dinner, where the student expanded to students (son and friends) for the evening, and a great time was had by all.
On the menu? We began with a favorite – rabbit – with tender spring sorrel, baby onions and lard fumé, the French (and gorgeous) version of bacon. This dish is a favorite of mine and no matter how many times we make it, each time it’s different under the hands of a different cook. This time, the spring onions and the spring cream lent an added delicacy to the dish.
We marched on to aioli with new potatoes and baby fennel, meandered through to braised asparagus, a honey-and thyme dressed salad, the finest Camembert ever produced, and the favorite dessert of the day (aside from the chocolate tart), of poached rhubarb over lush vanilla ice cream. Lessons included making pâte sucrée, tasting salts and chocolate, finding a double-yolked egg, and watching a former radish-hater transform into radish lover. When accompanied by fleur de sel, fresh farm butter, crisp baguette still warm from the baker’s oven, it’s no wonder.