As world travelers and photographers, Henderson Productions joined forces with our friends from Poggio Amorelli B&B to explore culinary France. Master Chef contestant Angela Perkins contacted chefs in five distinct regions and asked us to design and document the trip. We knew it would be a journey for our senses: to see, taste, smell and touch France. Above all else, we aimed to enjoy the adventure. We are delighted to report those goals were met and more. Along the way many chefs gave us permission to include their recipes to help you recreate some of our experiences. We invite you to appreciate the bounty of their gifts. Bon Appetit et Bon Voyage.
We left Giverny for a two-hour trip to our house in Bayeux and soundly slept all night awaking on Easter Sunday with virtually nothing in the house to eat and, fortunately, only Rick’s instant coffee stash. So off we went into town to find at least some bread. Fortunately, we found a long line in front of a fabulous bakery where we loaded up with quiche, eclairs, loaf of bread and flan before heading around the corner for ham, cheese, tomatoes, grapes and a couple avocados. A quick coffee for the addicts and back to the house to reap the benefits of what we’d sown. We spent the afternoon at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and a short stroll downtown around the Cathedral before a nap and our big evening adventure dinner.
Met by Caroline at the door of L ’Angle Saint Laurent Restaurant , we were quickly introduced to Chef Sebastien who said hello and disappeared into the kitchen for the evening service. He asked us to linger and stay until the last meal had been served so he could chat, and we could tour the kitchen. Thus, began a three-hour evening of lovely presentations where the cuisine was as genuine as the inhabitants.
Caroline patiently explained their philosophy of using only local products and told us the origin of each dish as it was served. We opted for the prix menu as the best opportunity to taste many items in smaller quantities, but we must say, none of these portions was small at all. For those with small stomachs, we recommend perhaps less courses because we couldn’t choose one to highlight over the others. Perhaps it was because we had an additional two appetizers and a chef special added dessert that tipped our hat.
We began with pommeau – a 17% alcohol combination of the 4% cidre and the 41% calvados. It was flavorful and served with perfectly airy cheese puffs clearly straight out of the oven and served on a warmed granite tile.
Then came an oyster appetizer swimming in a cool white fish sauce with just a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and nuts to add crunch before the official appetizer arrived. Three of us had the lightly breaded, fried leek with a drizzled chorizo onion sauce served over shredded and pickled beets. It was formally declared the second best serving of the night at the end of the evening. (More on the best in a moment.) The fourth opted for the cold haddock salad in a bok choy wrap with dots of sea urchin sauce on the side. If cold fish isn’t your thing, this might not be the dish, but I loved it.
We had selected three entrees with the gents ordering half-inch-thick pork chops that melted in the mouth. I had the honey and sesame seed encrusted pollock steak served over bacon simmered lentils. WOW. What a combination. It was one of the discussions at the table – the complexity and diversity of flavor combinations was superb. We were all truly delighted with our meal and happily assumed we were on a downward trajectory.
A brief break with a little more wine consumed and Caroline appeared with our desserts. Again, three chose the orange flan tarte with orange pepper sorbet and a crunchy marshmallow swoosh sitting on top. Unbelievable. We literally began singing deciding the proper phrase for this dessert is “zing went the strings to our mouths”. It was sweet and tart and bouncing with flavor. It was warm and cool at the same time. We never wanted it to end.