Thursday, January 12, 2012

Le Chateaubriand...

If these previous weeks have been somewhat unlucky food-wise, they have made up for it in celebrity chef sitings.
After coming back from La Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Ryan swears he saw Yves Camdeborde, chef of Le Comptoir.  (I have to admit, I didn't really know who he was, but it was exciting none-the-less.) 
"Okay, cool, next we have to see David Lebowitz."

If you've never heard me wax on about David Lebowitz before, I'd be very surprised.  
Who is David Lebowitz?
Author of The Perfect Scoop.
Former Chez Panisse pastry chef, resource for all things Parisian, and my culinary idol.
(Also, mainly responsible for my ice cream obsession.)

"Would you even know him if you saw him on the street?"
"Um, no."

So, that evening, before going for a drink at Le Perle, I googled him.
And two hours later, on Rue Vielle du Temple, he walked past me.
I saw David Lebowitz.
I nearly died.
Actually, I nearly chased him down the street in what only would have ended with me a tongue-tied mess, blubbering incoherently about ice cream flavors, the bay area ice cream scene, and whether or not he knew so-and-so.  Thankfully, I managed to stay in my chair, and contained my enthusiasm to a wave.  And guess what!?!  He waved back!!
My life is complete.*
Ryan took great pleasure in teasing me about the whole affair, but honestly, the next week when we saw Inaki Aizpitarte, chef of Le Chateaubriand, he was even more star struck than I had been.
Seated with a good view of the kitchen, he could not help craning his neck to see the chef at work.  And with good reason, the plates coming out of his kitchen were some of the most curious dishes I have ever eaten.  Not to mention delicious.  
If I hadn't had my camera on hand to sneakily snap dimly-lit photos of each dish, I would definitely have forgotten elements of our twelve course meal.  The fixed menu meal was conducted as follows:

Poppy Seed Crusted Cheese Biscuits
Grapefruit and Mackerel Ceviche
Tamarind Powder Dusted Crispy Shimp
Avocado Mousse with Radish and Sea Snail
Ginger Miso Soup

Black Seaweed Purée topped with Lychee, Shashimi, Grapefruit, Black Spinach, Iberico Ham, and a Celery Seaweed Remoulade
White Fish with Seared Skin, Scallion Sauce, Green Onions, Leeks and Shaved Black Truffle
Smoked Mozzarella Foam, Mixed Mushrooms, White and Dark Duck Breast

Cheese Platter
Rum Soaked White Mushrooms with Vanilla Bean Cream and Candied Clementine
Creme Caramel "chef style" (topped with a soft boiled egg yolk)
Sugar Poached Mango Sprinkled with Indian Digestive Spices

Sometimes, I think, people deserve a bit of idolizing.

*I'm totally joking, of course.