So I picked up Julia's My Life in France, while at the airport going to Pennsic. Read that, then ordered "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" then booked a reservation at Ventana's a student-run restaurant at the Texas Culinary Institute, which is also part of Le Cordon Blue. Then, went to the Julie and Julia fest, which had 5 courses, and complete wine pairings.
Let me say, I am exhausted. All that eating took effort!!
I was warned that the food was hit or miss, but actually, I found almost every dish to be excellent, except for one. It is possible I just got a good graduating class. I had:
- Amuse bouche was chicken salad over polenta, very good. And also really good bread and butter.
- Oyster Beignets: which was very delicious, but a touch too oily, which I wrote in the comment card (yeah, it is a class after all).
- Sauteed Chicken Breast Saltambocca: which the waiter talked me into, and turned to be excellent, even though I don't like white chicken. It was tender and flavoured well.
- Gnocci with shitake mushrooms and gruyerre: This was ok and my least fav.
- Banana foster: Wow. This was excellent, and it was pretty much just butter and brown sugar (and rum) over bananas and ice-cream.
The service was excellent if a bit odd. The whole class hovering over very few diners.
I was very sleepy at work, and was actually kind of nauseous. I've had large lunches before, but I think all the butter just overwhelmed me.
Julie and Julia's Fest
There were 5 courses here, with wine so let's just focus on the really good dishes:
- Piece de' la résistance": duck inside a dough with pate in it. Oh my goodness. That was amazing, and really really good. And it was gratifying to see it being cooked on screen too.
- Sole "meuniere" or however you spelled it. Fish. Really good fish. I am impressed.
Other dishes were an oyster amuse bouche, raspberry bavarian cream crepe which I didn't like, and manicotti stuffed with spicy lobster thermidore filling with braised cucumber soup.
Anyways, this was an interesting foray into French food, in one day. I think I overdosed. That's 8 entrees and 2 amuse bouches in one day and lots of wine. Yeah, I didn't realize I had scheduled it both in the same day.
And the movie? Pretty good. Julia Child is a delightful person as her book portrays her, and Julie is a self-absorbed drama queen.
I'm just going to curl up with some matcha green tea and recover now.