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Thursday, November 16, 2006

The 'Whose dish' contest!

David has an enormous collection of menus from some of the best restaurants in the world. Some of them adorn the walls -in the you know what- at the restaurant while others live a quieter life in a large trunk upstairs. The other day he pulled them out to organize, and to see if there are more we want to frame and put up on show. There are a few of mine in that set by now too, though I must admit they are sort the Johnny come lately's, since I didn't start my collection until just a few years ago.

Looking through these old menus, I got an idea that there's a fun game I can play with you here on my blog. It is said that to be a great chef, one has to be more than just a good cook who could replicate other people's recipes, but one that has a style that is unique to his/her own. Many of these restaurants whose menu we were perusing are famous not merely because they serve great food, but because they have a style that is unique to them. These characteristic styles are often enhanced by the sense of place, the local produce, or we might even say the proverbial terroir.

So, to put this conjecture to a test, and also to test the culinary intelligence of you, my dear readers. I've devised a little contest for us. I'm going to give you twelve menu items, and you have to match them to the corresponding restaurants. But to make it a bit more fun I've decided to give you 15 names of restaurants. So, three of the fifteen are just decoys, you understand? Now, shall we play?

Which dish belongs to which restaurant's menu?

  1. Ravioli d'Escargots de Bourgogne dans leur Bouillon d'Ail Doux [Ravioli of Escargot de Bourgogne in a green garlic Bouillon]
  2. Le Pied de Porc Farcie au Foie Gras, Braisé en cocotte, aux Lentillons Roses de Champagne, Vinaigrette de Truffes [Braised pig's feet stuffed with foie gras, with Roses de Champagne lentils and truffled vinaigrette]
  3. Schniederspaetle et Cuisses de Grenouille poêlées, au Cerfeuil [Sweet onion ravioli with frog legs in chervil sauce]
  4. Baba imbibé de Rhum de votre choix [Rum Baba with your choice of Rum]
  5. Les Raviolis de Légumes d'Automne au Jus de Noisettes (Raviolis sans pâte) [Naked ravioli of fall vegetables with hazelnut sauce]
  6. Confit de Truit de mer, Konbu, Navet long, et Fenouil [Confit of Ocean Trout with Konbu, Daikon & Fennel]
  7. Feuillantine de langoustines aux graines de sésame, sauce curry [Lobster with sesame leafs in curry sauce]
  8. Le Gargouillou de jeunes légumes, relevé de grianes germées & d'herbes champêtre [Salad of young vegetables and wild herbs]
  9. Le poupeton de fleurs de courgette aux truffes noires de Valréas avec son fumet de champignon [Zucchini flowers with black Valréas truffle, and puree of mushroom]
  10. Sorbet de Tartine au sardine, Ballotine de Maquereau, Navet mariné [Sardine on toast sorbet, ballotine of mackerel, and marinated daikon
  11. Rouget à la nage au basilic [Red Mullet in basil sauce]
  12. Les ris d'agneau poêlés aux poivrons et aux cèpes [Pan fried veal sweetbread with pepper and cèpes mushroom]

a) Les Pyrénées, Fermin Arrambide
b) Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire
c) Auberge de l'Eridan, Marc Veyrat
d) Les Crayères, Gerard Boyer
e) Le Moulin de Mougins, Roger Vergé
f) elBulli
g) Louis XV
h) The Fat Duck
i) Maison Troisgros
j) Lamelois
k) Oustau de Beaumanière
l) Michel Bras
m) L'Ambroisie
n) Le Buerehiesel
o) Tetsuya

Go on then, and good luck. There's even a little secret prize for the winner. Have fun!

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