End of year celebration at Le Cordon Bleu
" Bailli Helen Meehan declared that it had been a wonderful evening and the meal had been 'a true celebration of excellence' "
It is now a well-established tradition that the final function of the year for Chaîne members in Wellington takes place at Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School where the students devise, prepare, cook and serve a “degustation” dinner including matching wines and mocktails as part of their course requirements.
This year’s event saw the students reproducing the three courses with which Josh Ross, the Bailliage of New Zealand’s Young Chef of the Year 2022, secured Third Place in the International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition held in Mexico City in October.
Two small changes were to top and tail the menu with an amuse bouche and petits fours, neither of which feature in the international competition.
Guests were welcomed with sparkling wine accompanied by nibbles: goat’s cheese in a cone, duck pâté with a half grape, and a creamy lobster mix on a pastry base.
At the table an amuse bouche of asparagus terrine with tomato water, pickles and pesto accompanied by a shot of Tequila or a virgin Margarita was served.
The entrée was a prawn and oyster crudo with tomatoes, chives and avocado in a salad with sweet potato crisps. The wine was a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc whose grassiness nicely offset the richness of the seafood. A cucumber and minted tonic with lemon and basil was the non-alcoholic alternative.
The main course, again following Josh Ross’s menu, was beef two ways: a slice of sirloin and a braised short rib, topped with a fennel salad. On the side was a roast mushroom, potato espuma and a raisin puree which intensified the richness of the beef. Accompanied either by a red Bordeaux or sparking merlot grape juice reinforced with plum, raisin and beetroot juice.
The base of the dessert was a genoise sponge infused with tangelo and Tequila syrup with roasted pineapple, white chocolate crémeux and a sugar tuille. A Muscat de Beaumes de Venise was served.
In addition, a range of petits fours and Mexican hot chocolate were offered.
Speaking at the end of the dinner, Josh Ross complimented the kitchen and serving teams saying that they had very faithfully reproduced his menu with delicious results.
Bailli Helen Meehan declared that it had been a wonderful evening and the meal had been “a true celebration of excellence.” She added that the New Zealand members of the Chaîne were “very, very proud” of Josh and what he had achieved. “You have put New Zealand on the international culinary stage,” she said.
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