Much of what is loved around the world as French culture has its roots in the vibrant street life of Paris, and tonight we will celebrate it in its most iconic forms — the rustic yet refined food of the classic Parisian Bistro, and the timeless music of Edith Piaf. Both share humble, working-class origins, transformed through the unique genius of culture into some of the most cherished and famous symbols of a place and its people. An exciting collaboration between Chef Chantal Vechambre and singer Mélyssa Rose, tonight’s selection of authentic French music and cuisine offers an intimate communion with the true heart and soul of Paris.
Amuse Bouche – Croque Monsieur
A miniature version of France’s most well-known sandwich – fresh bread, good ham, Emmental and creamy béchamel quickly broiled to a golden finish — simple, yet sublime.
A lighter, more contemporary and very popular addition to the bistro repertoire, this is named after the terra cotta container – the terrine – in which pates are traditionally baked. This delicate salmon paté is flavoured with Espelette pepper, served with a light mayonnaise and garnished with fresh dill.
Coq au Vin
Coq au vin has been a part of French culinary history for centuries… There are mentions of dishes like this as far back as the era of Julius Caesar and the Gauls! Essentially the poultry sibling of Boeuf Bourguignon, this was the noblest end for an old rooster (himself the iconic symbol of France). With countless variations from village to village according to the local ingredients and wines available, this classic recipe features bacon lardons, garlic, mushrooms, pearl onions, carrots, brandy, fresh herbs and lots of red wine that combine to make a deep, silky sauce. Served with slow-baked small new potatoes, topped with butter and Fleur de sel, and a mimosa salad: fresh lettuce with a classic Dijon vinaigrette, topped with crumbled hard boiled egg that evokes the delicate tiny yellow flowers of the same name.
Crème Caramel “Maxim’s”
Crème caramel is the more modest little sister of the flashier crème brulée, and by coincidence, a long-standing speciality of our Chef… Caramelized sugar, milk, and eggs, with patience and skill, are transformed into a truly magical dessert; a delicate golden-topped custard in pool of glorious caramel sauce. Each flan is topped with a orange supreme macerated in Grand Marnier liqueur, a favourite flourish of Maxim’s, the venerable Parisian bistro that for a long time was arguably the most famous restaurant in the world.
Chantal Véchambre, originally from Paris, is a chef certified in both French cuisine and Pastry-chocolate. In 2005 she moved to New Brunswick where research in culinary history led her to the Fortress of Louisbourg, where she developed recipes and culinary workshops inspired by the site’s 18th century recipes, culminating in an award-winning book: French Taste in Atlantic Canada, 1604-1758 Now established in Toronto, Chantal pursues food writing and culinary adventures, and professional catering through her company My Creme Caramel Catering.
Minuit à Paris are a professional French jazz band based in Toronto led by the talented Mélyssa Rose. Originally from France, Mélyssa came to Toronto in 2016 after one year stop in NYC. She met Kevin Barrett, a great Canadian guitarist, the collaboration of these 2 passionate musicians became « Minuit à Paris », a mix of French Music from the 50’s, Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Charles Trenet… let’s go to Paris!
Every weekend The Depanneur invites a guest chef to host a fun, informal BYOB dinner party.
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