My mother is a Slow food member and yesterday , she could not attend the special event at Le bouchon de Liège , featuring the vegetables of Mr Jean-Pierre Bertrand. The meal was paid , somebody had to eat it , so I had to go. I really hate it and those things happen !
I had never been to Le bouchon , and I must say has never heard of it. Steve Lemieux , the young chef does a fantastic job , with a service team that was very efficient.
The purpouse of the meal was to present Mr Bertrand delicious vegetable and make them the star of the meal. Mr bertrand is aman who used to do medical researche . When he retired , he had this wonderfull land , with and orchard and decided that he wanted to grow vegetables. His passion grew so much that soon , he had more vegetables and fruits than his familly could handle . He grows around 125 varieties of apples ! So he started offering his precious vegetables to restaurants around town , and counts Toqué , Au pied de cochon and Le Bouchon de Liège as custumers. To hear him talk about his vegetables and fruits , how he grows and care for them was trully amazing. After each dish , he would talk about each vegetable used in them.
How was the food prepared by Steve Lemieux ? Inventive , tasty and lettinf the vegetable shine !
her is what we ate:
A gellified gaspacho of Sungold tomatoes , with cruchy fennel , yogurt with Defino coriander and a touch of sweet curry. This gazpacho was a bright yellow , with a few halved little sungold tomatoes in it., toped wit the yogurt and the julienned fennel. I dont know what was used to gellified the gaspacho , but it was not Jello like , more creamy with a lot of "hold". The flavor of the tomato shinned , with the other additons complementing it without overpowering it.
Next was a giant kohl-rabi ravioli , stuffed with a puré of celeriac , and some sautéed fall vegetables ( carrots , green beans , "crosne", turnip) , with an emulsion of paprika pepper.
The ravioly was in fact two paperthinn slices of kohl-rabi instead( and a big one at that !). I dont think thye were blanche , since they were still quite cruchy. My only small complaint with this dish is that , since the menu stated "legumes d'automne poelés, I dint taste the poeleé ( sligh caramelisation or something like this) . The paprika peepr emuslsion was nice , adding a touch of color , a bit of sweetness.
Next was a roasted Miso marinated flounder , with Griselle braised shallot , white truffle salsify and espuma ( foam) of Blanche beer and beets. The fish was incredibly moist , with anice crust. The beet foam was a bit bitter because of the beer , but came alive when you eat it with the sweet fish. The salsify ribbons were cruchy with just a touch of truffle taste. Another winner !
For the cheese course , the samll place contained three things: a small shooter of Sunshine squash drink , abit salty and buttery tasting , a small slice of Kabocha squash that has been roasting for a few hours , brushed with olive oil regularely, and Riopelle de L'Ile-aux-grues , served Nougat style. The chef told me how he prperd this: He first refigerate the cheese so it becomes quite firm , then put is in the food processor and emulsify it with a bit of cream and olive oil until it become quite creamy and airy , seasones it with salt and pepper and then mix a few dried fruits or nuts in it. Put it back in the fridge abit to firm it , and forms little quenelles with the mixture. This was incredible , very buttery , with the sweet of the dried fruits playing with the salty of the cheese. Really nice !
The last course was dessert: a sweet potatoe and Tolleman Sweet apple cake , a rhubarb foam , sweet potato confit , and a lemon sorbet on Tollman Sweet apple salad. Her was the only desapointing point of the evening: the sweet potato cake. It was very small , but still abit heavy and laked texture , compared to the to the foam and the sorbet. I think the cake was steamed cooked. I would have maybe cramelized to top of it to hadd texture and a bit of an edge to the taste , since the rubarb foam was so taty and the sorbet so lively.
This meal was very , very good and I really hope to go taste Steves Lemieux food on a regular meal . Is regular menue seeme very interesting and...not too expensive !
Le bouchon de Liège
8497, rue Saint-Dominique