This is Restaurant Lulu Hazard, where I am working in the town square of Grignan.
Tiny little stove in the tiny kitchen. One time the oven door came off in my hand.
Although the kitchen is small and charmingly quirky, there is still an opportunity to make great food here. This is the grilled sardine dish I talked about in my previous post. On the bottom is La Pissaladiere tart: onions cooked until caramelized and buttery with anchovies and crushed garlic, spread over a tart crust brushed with black olive tapenade. It served as the base for grilled sardines, served alongside fresh and savoury ratatouille. Here it is finished with a drizzle of pesto and creme de balsamic.
Duck confit, be still my heart. I woke up early to get into work and start this. I love being in the kitchen early, quietly chopping away, concentrating on the service ahead.
Vanilla and cinnamon panna cotta with stewed clementine, citrus syrup and coconut tuille. These coconut tuilles I’ve been making as garnish are really yummy! It has been good to take creative risks here, including pushing myself in pastry to be more creative and advance my techniques, as it’s part of my skill set that I have less experience in.
I made a citrus tart with lemon curd and ginger shortbread crust that customers really liked. As well, a strawberry tart with fresh strawberries, strawberry cream, mint and creme de balsamic. The bread pudding that I always made at Nellie James, I altered the recipe here into a dark chocolate bread pudding with rum caramel sauce. Customers really enjoy that as well.
As well, I made a cold ratatouille salad garnished with deep-fried capers, black olive tapenade and freshly baked herb crackers.
This is a very asian fusion dish: veal brochettes marinated in ginger, coriander seed, honey and an aromatic sweet-soy sauce from the previous day’s wok. They were pan-seared to order and served over a fennel, cilantro and carrot slaw.
One of my favourite starters (no photo) so far has been this: First, I cooked down a celeriac salad from the previous day and pureed it. It gets spread on the plate, topped with tomatoes marinated in olive oil, balsamic, fleur de sel and chives. I roasted eggplant at high heat until nicely caramelized with herbes de provence, olive oil, and espelette pepper, then tossed them with roughly chopped basil. The puree on the bottom, with the tomatoes, then 2 pieces of eggplant curled together, then basil leaves and pesto.
In the last 4.5 weeks I am looking forward to working on more cost accounting, connecting with people, pushing myself creatively and continuing to learn about local cuisine. Lavender blooms at the end of the month and I can’t wait; it’s one of my favourite ingredients to work with!