Culinary Courses in France are becoming more and more popular, especially cookery courses in the Perigord Noir as it boasts to be the gastronomic capital of the country.
Le Chevrefeuille Cookery School Dordogne was established in 2003 but was only available for a limited time due to the success of Le Chevrefeuille restaurant. It has now been re-established by popular demand and we will be running courses throughout the 2012 season. They are a great way to learn some cookery techniques that will elevate your food to restaurant standard. If you cant wait until then, here is my Tapanade recipe which, is fantastic with fresh bread and a cold crisp white wine.
- 2 Tins of pipped olives (I prefer black)
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 10 Anchovies Fillets
- 40 Grams of Capers
- 125 Grams of almond powder
Put all ingredients in a food processor turn on and start to add extra virgin olive oil, about a cup full. Finish with black pepper and lemon juice to taste.
I am often asked about the region’s products as they are very different, almost mystical, The two I have picked today are Foie gras and the elusive truffle.
Probably the most famous product of the region Foie Gras, Its flavor is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of an ordinary duck or goose liver. Foie Gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté (the lowest quality), and may also be served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak. French law states that “Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France.
Truffles are also a well known product of the Perigord Noir, a truffle is the fruiting body of an underground mushroom; spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores animals that eat fungi. Almost all truffles are ectomycorrhizal and are therefore usually found in close association with trees.
There are hundreds of species of truffles, but the fruiting body of some (mostly in the genus Tuber) are highly prized as a food. The 18th-century French gastronome Brillat-Savarin called these truffles “the diamond of the kitchen”. Edible truffles are held in high esteem in French, Spanish, northern Italian and Greek cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine. Prices are about Euro 800.00 a kilo.
Hope to see you soon Ian