Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cooking Class with Refletts Chef Pierre Gagnier

We were dining at Refletts earlier this year, and got a bit carried away.  Katie and I went to town on the food, wine - it was all so good!  Unfortunately, our stomachs were bigger than our wallets.  The manager Dennis gave us two choices - we could go to jail or work off our (substantial) debt.

So, being world reknowned chefs, we decided it was a win-win - Pierre could really use our help.  We put on our Saturday morning finest, and went into the kitchen to sweat it out.  Here's a picture of me telling everyone what a tomato is (nobody had ever seen one):
Katie's no slouch, either - here she is telling one of the soux chefs that you could chop mushrooms - he was blown away.  "This is so amazing - now that I know they can be chopped, the possibilities are endless!" he was heard saying.
Clearly, it was a big success - we spent all day cooking, cleaning, tasting, and generally impressing everyone with our skills.  A crowd soon gathered, and Pierre challenged us to a duel.  Let's just say that it was close - his 45-ingredient fruits de mer "LA MÉDITERRANÉE" narrowly edged out my "Matt's Famous Garlic Bread."  I maintain that he cheated - the saddle of rabbit he added at the end definitely didn't come from the ocean.  However, I'm a gracious loser - see his recipe at the end (I don't give away my garlic bread secrets to just anybody!).

Here's a photo with the two head chefs on the left, Pierre, and a few of the other people working off their debt that day:
For those of you who believe a world-renowned chef is better than a guy in paper hat that can make a wicked batch of popcorn, here's one of Pierre Gagnaire's recipes (and don't forget to check out his website at

LA MÉDITERRANÉE…pour quatre personnes:
2 pieces Agria potato
200 gr. Rock salt
60 gr. Flour
20 gr. Potato flour
50 gr. Butter
3 spoons Olive oil
1 spoonful Paprika powder
24 pcs. Gambas (or prawns, for you English-speakers)
1 spoonful White Port
1 spoonful Espelette pepper
2 pcs. Eggs
2 pcs. Saddle of rabbit
1 spoonful Rosemary
4 dl. Cream
300 gr. Rocket salad
1 spoonful Sage
2 pcs. Garlic
1 spoonful Tarragon
250 gr. Cuttlefish
2 pcs. Leek
300 gr. Hummous
  • Cover an oven tray with rock salt, place the whole potatoes on the tray and cook for 1½ hour at 180 degrees. Peel the potatoes, mash them and add the flour, paprika powder, egg yolk and potato flour. Mix until you obtain a dough texture and roll into in a large cylinder shape. Cut it in pieces of approximately 4 centimeter long and a diameter of approximately 2 centimeter.
  • Cut the cuttlefish in pieces and keep it aside.
  • Cook the gnocchi in water with rosemary and reserve on the side.
  • Cook the rocket salad in a pan with a little bit of water from the gnocchi and add the cream. Let it cook on low heat.
  • Heat the gambas with the white Port, butter and espelette pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and sear the saddle of rabbit. Add the butter. When the butter is fully melted, add the sage, chopped garlic, tarragon and the cuttlefish.
  • Cut the leek and add in the pan with the rabbit along with the gnocchi.
Put the rocket salad in the center of the plate, place the mixture of rabbit, cuttlefish on top and then the gambas. Pour a little bit of the cream of the rocket on top of the dish.

1 comment:

jimdad said...

Great story! Now you've got me looking for Espelette pepper.

And we'll be sure to lay in a supply of garlic for your next visit.