July 2003 Newsletter
Jul 24, 2003 08:40 PDT
July 2003 Newsletter
How exciting it is for Cuisine International to announce the partnership
with Rhode School of Cuisine in Morocco that is now opened. The
information is now on our website so please take a look. I think you
will be attracted with what there is to offer in this beautiful country.
In the next newsletter, I will write about our three-week trip there so
you can see why we love it and want to return.
Il Falconiere has recently received their first Michelin star. They
also are producing their first wines. Rosso Smeriglio is a young and
fragrant wine with a full fruity taste, aged 8 months in oak casks and 4
months in the bottle. This wine is perfect for hearty first courses and
red or white meat roasts. Ardito is made from hand-harvested grapes,
aged 18 months in oak barrels and 6 months to a year in the bottle.
With its sweet and soft tannins and spicy full flavor, it is perfect
with red meat, venison and seasoned cheeses.
Il Falconiere is also offering a 3-day cooking course for those unable
to come the entire week. The rate per person is € 1550 and includes: 3
nights of stay in classic room, a welcome dinner, 2 cooking classes, 2
lunches, a wine tour and dinner. This is offered for a minimum of two
Chef Alan Murchison at L’Ortolan
For all of our clients who attended the cooking school at Le Manoir aux
Quat’ Saisons taught by Alan Murchison, you probably know he moved on
and opened L’Ortolan Restaurant in Berkshire outside of London. After
only being opened 18 months, Alan was awarded a Michelin star. His
former boss, Raymond Blanc says, “Alan has worked extremely hard and the
results are stunning. His menus are excellent…” Among other honors,
Tatler Restaurant Guide chose L’Ortolan as winner of the “Best Out of
Town” category. Alan will be offering a series of exclusive and
intimate evenings that include Cheese Evenings and Wine Tastings. I
know all of you who studied under Alan will be pleased that he has been
so successful in his new endeavor and will be eager to dine at his
fabulous new restaurant. Hopefully Dick and I will be there in the fall
to partake. You can visit www.lortolan.com to find out more about the
We will be traveling throughout the North East and the Canadian Maritime
Provinces most of the summer and then head back to New Mexico to see if
we can avoid the Texas heat. Coming in our next issue will be reports
on both the Boar’s Head Inn in Virginia and Trout Point Lodge in Nova
CCCCC Rates among our top restaurants in the world
CCCC We absolutely love and would go back every time we could, well
worth a journey
CCC We would return if there was time in our schedule, worth a detour
CC Okay, but we would not make an effort to return
C We would never return.
The Classic Kitchen CCCCC
For years I have been attending IACP Conferences with Steven Keneipp,
chef and owner of The Classic Kitchen in Noblesville, Indiana. Dick and
I have never been able to dine in his restaurant before so this summer
we made a special effort to do just that.
Noblesville is an unlikely location for one of the best dining
experiences in the United States. Located in a antique laden small town
northeast of Indianapolis, it is definitely worth the trip from
Indianapolis. We detoured long distance of our way to enjoy this gourmet
delight. Raised in Haiti with missionary parents, Steven began
traveling at a young age. He is a sensitive collector art objects from
around the world, many of which are displayed in the restaurant, and is
an artist in his own right. On each trip he gathers recipes and
techniques that he lovingly prepares and serves in his most pleasant
surroundings. Classically trained as a chef, Steven has a master’s
degree in nutrition and teaches and runs the food service for St.
Vincent Hospital. For twenty-three years, Steven has been serving
gourmet delights in his restaurant, voted the #1 restaurant in
Indianapolis in 2003.
The restaurant is small and intimate; approximately 40 seats. Seating
is by reservation only with Lunch served Tuesday through Saturday and
dinner on Friday and Saturday. Reservations must be secured well in
advance for this delightful experience.
When we dined there on a Friday night we were greeted by Steven at the
door and given a short private tour of his delightful herb and flower
gardens that he uses in his cooking. Everything served at the
restaurant is lovingly prepared from time-tested recipes made with the
finest and purist quality ingredients using nothing artificial. The
wine list, while small, is extremely selective, very reasonably priced
for the quality and Steven will help you with your selection according
to the daily menu..
As we were not sure if this might be a one time dining experience, we
delightfully over indulged.
We started with the selection of three “Splendid Beginnings”. The soup
du jour was a creamy Vidalia onion and potato soup garnished with fresh
dill and tiny blossoms from the garden. The next two appetizers were a
creamy salmon spread and Pate’ Maison, both served with delicious
homemade whole wheat bread. The pate was an English chicken liver pate
flavored with sherry and cognac garnished with pistachios and currents.
Steven’s grandmother made this Myra Waldo recipe with spices from
Harrods. I truly appreciated the fact that whenever he used some one
else’s recipe, he thoughtfully gave credit to them. This is the sign of
a very honest, secure and refined chef.
A mixed green salad topped with dressing and sweet green peas followed
the appetizer. The dressings were made there and were fabulous. Dick
chose his usual favorite Maytag blue cheese and I opted for the
intriguing papaya poppy seed. Thick slices of hot homemade whole wheat
bread lightly brushed with butter and sprinkled with Steven’s own herb
mixture from his garden accompanied the salad.
After polishing off all that, we started on our main courses. Dick had
a tilapia encrusted with finely chopped coconut and served on top of
Stevens’s version of red beans and rice. I choose the tender scallops
of range fed veal topped with fresh spinach, cream and Gruyere cheese
baked en casserole. Both entrees were served with delicious steamed
vegetables and an artfully arranged garnish of fruits, vegetables and
flowers. Following Stephen's suggestion, we chose a New Zealand Cloudy
Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2002 from Marlborough on the north end of South
Island. It was elegant, aromatic, fruity and crisp, a perfect match.
The desserts deserve special mention. Stephen has always been in love
with ice cream, so much so that he studied in Brazil and came home to
experiment with his own flavors using this method. A virtual cornucopia
of flavors was available along with the longstanding favorite Belgian
White Chocolate Mousse. The special of the evening was a chocolate
ganache and hazelnut torte that we tried and it was divine. Other
choices were Serendipitous Sundaes, “very special sundaes with liqueurs
or sauces, ice cream or frozen yogurt topped with special things” and
fresh fruit topped with Crème Fraiche.
You can call for reservations at 317-773-7385. The restaurant is
located at 610 Hannibal Street in Noblesville, Indiana. Please tell
Steven hello for us when you visit.
Recipe of the Month
Panzanella from Villa Lucia
With the tomatoes fresh off the vine, there is nothing more refreshing
than a Panzanella or a Tuscan tomato and bread salad. The one Dick, my
sister Jo Ann and I were served at Villa Lucia made by Chef Gian Carlo
Talerico. This intense young chef is a perfectionist, using only
quality ingredients at the peak of their flavors. What could be better
than to enjoy this delicious salad with a bottle of Bianco della
Vildinievole in the late afternoon while sitting in the gardens?
Panzanella was originally a way to use stale bread. However it is now a
very popular salad just because of its delicious taste. Each region has
its own version. Be sure to use a course Italian bread and toast it
slightly if it is not stale. Here is Gian Carlo’s version.
12 ounces Italian bread, two days old
6 ripe red tomatoes, skinned and cut into quarters
8 romaine lettuce leaves, cut into strips
2 mild red onions, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled, diced
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
Red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cut the bread into thick slices and soak in water until it softens,
usually five to ten minutes. Squeeze each slice to remove excess water.
Place the bread into a large salad bowl and add the tomatoes, lettuce,
onions, cucumber and basil. Mix. Sprinkle the oil and vinegar and
season with salt and pepper. Leave to chill for one hour, covered, in
the refrigerator before serving. Just before serving, sprinkle a few
drops of white wine vinegar on top. To enhance the flavor of this
salad, add pecorino cheese or capers.
Chef Daniel Bonnot is a widely acclaimed French Chef who has been living
in New Orleans for nearly 20 years. His well-known restaurant in New
Orleans is Bizou, a place I know many of you have enjoyed. For the past
3 years, Daniel has been teaching classes at A Week in Provence several
weeks a year. Here is what he had to say when I interviewed him. Check
the Cuisine International website for additional information.
Q. How old were you when you began cooking? How old professionally?
A. “During that time it was traditional to be an apprentice in helping
kitchen. My mother oriented me into this profession when I was 14
Q. What is your favorite holiday? What favorite foods do you prepare for
A. “Preparing venison during the fall hunting season.”
Q. Who mentored you?
A. “The many chefs I had during my apprenticeship.”
Q. Where do you like to eat on a night out?
A. “Depending on my mood, but preferably a nice cozy restaurant with a
Q. What is your favorite dish your mother or father cooked for you?
A. “The traditional pot au few that my Grandmother prepared.”
Q. Who does the daily cooking in your home?
A. “I do the cooking along with the children.”
Q. What is your "comfort" food?
A. “A nice, spicy gumbo.”
Q. Name and location of your favorite market
A. “The French Market of New Orleans.”
Q. If you didn't cook or teach cooking, what would you be doing instead?
A. “Cooking is an art. I feel I would have had an artistic or creative
profession, possibly a
Q. What 3 items are essential in your kitchen?
A. “A fork, fire and a glass.”
Q. What three products would always be in your refrigerator?
A. “Champagne, cheese and fruit.”
Q. What advice would you give to a beginning cooking class student?
A. “Do not expect any rewards except the one of giving satisfaction to
Q. Where were you trained and by whom?
A. “In Paris, France by a master chef who became my mentor.”
Q. What would your last meal be?
A. “A food experience of which I never had.”
Q. What other chef or chefs or teachers do you admire?
A. “I admire the chefs of the past who create the food of today and
support the chefs of
today who will create the food of tomorrow”.
Q. Who was your prime student?
A. “One of the first women I taught, Susan Spicer.”
Q. What type of dish or food do you most enjoy preparing?
A. “Seafood – fish mainly.”
Q. What advice would you give to a budding chef - either professional or
A. “Be yourself in taste and flavor.”
Q. How important is presentation of food?
A. “Elaboration of a climax to the palette.”
Q. Do you enjoy music when cooking or dining?
A. Music is part of the three elements of enjoying life.”
Q. Do you have a garden? If so, what do you grow?
A. “Yes, mostly vegetables for the children to discover nature.”
Q. What do you think of "finger foods'?
A. “Only in the bed.”
Q. What was the most appreciated meal you have ever prepared and who was
A. “The Royal Family of England.”
Q. Who do you consider to be the greatest culinary influences?
A. “Julia Child.”
Q. How important is wine in cooking, drinking, pairing, and the expense?
A. “The wine is the blood of the meal. A glass of wine is a signature
of a perfect meal.”
Q. How important are appetizers to a meal?
A. “It is a tease.”
Q. What are your favorite herbs and spices?
A. “Herbs – bouquet of Provence and Arabian spices.”
Q. What do you see for food in the future?
A. “Simple, tasty and down to earth, natural cooking.”
Q. If you have children, are any of them following in your footsteps?
A. “From personal experience, at this time no.”
Q. What type of equipment is necessary in the kitchen?
A. “A good set of copper pots and a cast iron skillet.”
Q. Do you experiment with other cuisines, either preparing or eating?
A. “Yes, food is evolution like the human race.”
Q. How important is the health issue in what you teach, such as fat
A. “Health issues are important and should be dedicated to take the
time to release the
Q. " You are what you eat". What are your opinions about this?
A. “Sad but true. Eat better and you will become a better person.”
As Morocco was one of my all time favorite trips, I will let you know a
little about our trip there and let you hear about why we are so excited
about Dar Liqima. Dick and I are most excited to go back so we will
arrange a special trip just for our clients. Our restaurant review will
be a real find we found in Detroit and we will have another chef
interview for you. Have you ever thought of having a wedding in Italy
in Amalfi? We will give you the details.
Until that time, we will be traveling the East Coast to discover new
experiences for you and for ourselves.
Bon Appetito and Happy traveling,