When I visited The French Laundry the first time, it as an experience so magical that I immediately wanted to share it with family and friends. My 60th birthday was that opportunity. We were able to reserve the private dining room for an intimate lunch on what turned out to be Paul Bocuse’s birthday!
Paul Bocuse, the celebrated French chef passed away in January, 2018. On the day of our visit, The French Laundry paid homage to Chef Bocuse with a story about his apprenticeship under Chef Fernand Point. Chef Point liked to start his day off with a glass of Champagne and it was Chef Bocuse’s duty to fill his mentor’s glass. One morning after pouring a glass for Chef Point, Chef Bocuse decided to pour himself some as well and splashed some into a salad bowl on the shelf. This repeated for a couple of days until Chef Point turned around in time to catch Chef Bocuse in the act. The following morning, when Chef Bocuse dutifully returned the bottle to the ice bucket, Chef Point took it out again, reached up for the bowl, and poured some Champagne into it. This new ritual repeated daily thereafter.
In honor of this story, our Modicum, Extra Brut, “Schramsberg VIneyards,” Blanc de Blancs, North Coast 2013 was served in small bowls.
We started with their famous Fluke Coronet.
Garden Broccoli “Veloute” with Black Truffle slices:
One of my favorites was next. “Oysters and Pearls”, “Sabayon” of Pearl tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Regiis Ova Caviar.
Hen Egg Custard with a Ragout of Perigord Truffles.
Garden Pea Shoot Salad, Applewood Smoked Sturgeon “Bavarois”, Globe Artichokes, and Toasted “Pain de Champagne”
Slow Cooked Fillet of Mediterranean Turbot, Creamed Arrowleaf Spinach and Black Winter Truffle Emulsion.
Alaskan King Crab “Poelee”, Bantam Hen Egg “presse”, Fork Crushed La Ratte Potatoes, and “Creme de Cresson”
“Bread and Butter”, “Parker House Roll” and Diane St. Clair’s Animal Farm Butter
Salmon Creek Farms Kurobuta Pork Jowl, Red Wine Braised Cabbage, Whole Grain Mustard “Spatzle”, and “Sauce Chasseur”
“Selle de Veau en Croute de Trompettes de la Mort”, Slow Roasted Garden Carrots, Green Garlic “a la Plancha”, Crispy Chickpea “Panisse” and Red Wine Olive Jus.
Andante Dairy “Acapella”, K&J Orchards Persimmons, Pearson Farm Pecans, and Tender Garden Lettuces.
Salted Aptos Farm Kiwi, Yogurt and Green Tea “Panna Cotta” with “Biscuit Cuillere”.
Iced Double Cream, Black Pepper “Meringue” and Crushed Celery Seeds.
“Gateau Marjolaine”, Hazelnut “Dacquoise”, Chocolate Ganache, and Praline Buttercream.
“Coffee and Doughnuts”
Macaron, Matcha Caramel, Chocolate Macadamia Nut.
And, finally, a selection of truffles.
Followed by a tour of the renovated kitchen.
It was a special time with special people.