meta name="p:domain_verify" content="8b08da541f8a920e6 Marie Z Johnston: Marché at the Plaza Athénée, Paris 8eme

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marché at the Plaza Athénée, Paris 8eme

'Le tout Paris' came out to see the displays and to chat with the farmers and producers who provision Alain Ducasse at the Hotel Plaza Athénée. Okay. Well, maybe not 'le tout Paris' but certainly many of the food obsessed were there. 

David Martin of the French 'Telematin' show was there with his mobile red and white bicycle 'kitchen' interviewing producers, doing demonstrations and talking to fans. 

Television crews, photographers and press were crowded around 
farmers and cheese makers asking questions, 
taking notes... and of course tasting.

Truth be told, we were all tasting; Oysters... 

hand made cheeses and 
truffle butter by Fromagerie Beillevaire

and René Pellegrini's artisanal goat cheeses 

the famed Poulet de Bresse with it's blue legs. 
(delicious breast meat was quickly cooked on a griddle, 
salted, cut up and devoured by patiently awaiting admirers)

Another big hit were the tender, perfect, tiny, raw asparagus and sweet green peas grown by 3rd generation farmer Jerome Galis and his wife Nathalie in the  Langedoc (they also had mounds of black and white truffles that grow 'by accident' on their 40 hectares).

Philippe and Florence Constant stood proudly 
by a mound of sea salt, naturally evaporated 
and hand collected from the clay marshes 
of the Guerande.

A few feet away from their table stood a wheelbarrow 
filled with the stuff right in front of a
 huge 'lettuce wall' display.

One of my favorite tastes was the miniature potatoes grown with seaweed in the earth - giving these delicate little spud marbles a subtle saltiness that married well with their natural buttery quality.  Gautier Bruret-Moret advised us not to purchased them yet at the markets because the season is just begining and the price is far too high. "Wait about two weeks" he advised, that will be the perfect moment to buy them.

Two wine makers, on opposite corners of the terrace, 
were pouring their hand crafted, 
limited production wines
 as fast as the glasses arrived on silver trays. 
They had a difficult time keeping up.

 The people from Dommaine Vallet, St. Joseph arrived with a large jar 
of the 'terroir' to examine.

The agrumes display by Michel and Benedictine Bachés 
was spectacular, the fruits he sampled 
exotic and delicious... 
Don't you love the looks of the Buddha's hand?

The amazing thing about this event is that nothing was available for sale and the event was free of charge to anyone who cared to attend.  Evident everywhere were passionate people on both sides of the tables.  Those fascinated by the products, their origin and the farmers themselves.  And the producers; excited to share their experience, their obsession, their life's calling with us. All in all it was a fabulous morning at the Plaza Athénée!  

My sincere thanks go out to Chef Alain Ducasse for sharing his love of the people who provide him with so many wonderful things.  In doing so, he is part of those who are not only keeping precious traditions alive, but nurturing the earth and our spirits, one delicious dish at a time. 

A bientot,


marino77 said...

Beautiful Post -
Free ? unbelievable!
please write more about blue chicken legs -

Eric Kim said...

That is a ton of people! Looks like a ton of fun as well ;)