Monday, May 26, 2014

Chef Patrice Freulson at The Maya Kitchen

It felt really good to be back inside The Maya Kitchen, as it was another chance for me to learn and discover new things about food. For the month of May, the guest chef is none other than Chef Patrice Freuslon, owner of the Society Lounge.

Chef Patrice Freulson
Chef Patrice Freulson Chef Patrice Freulson

Chef Patrice was born in France. He studied Culinary Pastry in The Gaston Lenotre School, Taillevant, Fauchon, Ritz. He was given a Rated A, the highest rate for a chef, by the Gault et Miliau, the best food guide magazine in France.

He has served as Executive Chef in Le Berlioz in Grenoble, France as well as on board the renowned cruise ship Maxim’s de Mers. There was also a stint as Executive Pastry Chef in Hotel Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas as well as successful collaborations in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Chef Patrice describes his cuisine as a ‘passion, a modern labor of love’ as he skillfully combines the flavors of Asian ingredients with French technique.

For this featured class, he prepared five dishes:

Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Coriander Pesto

Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Coriander Pesto
Coriander isn't a favorite herb of mine, but I did love the contrast of flavors it created with the creamy risotto. The rice wasn't as "cooked" the way Filipinos prefer - it still has a tiny bite to it, but it was just bursting with flavor!

Things I learned in preparing this dish:
  • Better to use chicken stock with very minimal seasoning and just season the dish as you cook it because the cheese will also add saltiness to the dish.
  • You can add cream if you want, but it should be added towards the end of cooking.
  • Use only Arborio rice. No substitution.
  • Add stock little by little as you cook it, letting the rice absorb the stock before adding more.
  • Recipe calls for peanuts, but it's better if you use pine nuts. Also, use only fresh garlic.

Foie Gras Creme Brulee

Foie Gras Creme Brulee
Seeing this dish on the recipe sheet, I winced a little as I don't eat liver. Sure, I can accept canned liver spread, but foie gras - even foie gras pate - is something I cannot take. However, when this was served to us, the foodie in me just wanted to try it for the heck of it... and boy, I loved it! The liver taste was there, but it blended well with the cream, egg yolks, and brown sugar.

Things I learned in cooking this dish:

  • Use the bain-marie technique when baking this dish (by adding water to the tray used), to avoid bubbles in the finished product.
  • Can be prepared a day in advance and let it chill before serving.
  • The recipe said to bake this in 45 minutes. However, ovens were made different, so it is safe to check every 15 minutes. If the creme brulee is already set, then it is safe to take it out of the oven.

Seared Scallop with Apple Cider

Seared Scallop with Apple Cider
I just love scallops (especially if it's this big)! This dish looks simple, but there was a lot going on in this dish - it has dry champagne, maple syrup, and thyme.

Things I learned:

  • Champagne has to be made in France. Chef said that if it's not made in France, it's not "authentic" champagne.
  • Constant stirring is needed when making the sauce, otherwise, it will break.
  • As with every seafood, don't overcook the scallop. 

Roast Duck with Mango Sauce

Roast Duck with Mango Sauce
A testament that a simple to make dish can be really, really, tasty. I loved this so much!

Things I learned:

  • Chef suggests to use Kikkoman for the soy sauce.
  • There is no need to add oil when searing the duck breasts; the fat in the skin is enough to sear it.

Chocolate Chips Chouquettes

Chocolate Chips Chouquettes
It's like cream puffs, but it's not... yet it was very delicious as the dessert wasn't overly sweet.

Things I learned:

  • Use only wooden spoon when stirring the eggs into the dough.
  • This dish requires a lot of arm strength...if you're not prepared to stir sticky dough in long period of time, better not to try making this dish.
  • Baking the chouquettes can be tricky, too, and it is better to bake it in a convection oven to ensure success in baking this dish.
Overall, I was impressed with Chef Patrice, as he preferred to prepare the dishes himself - only asked for help in stirring the sticky dough for the chouquettes. Every dishes he prepared was sampled by the attendees, and I was blown away at how tasty each of the dishes turned out to be, yet he only used basic seasonings - salt, pepper, and soy sauce. This class was a clear testament that we can surely prepare great-tasting dishes at home without the use of the many seasonings to add "oomph" into our dishes. 

If you want to try out Chef Patrice's food, you may visit Society Lounge located on the Ground Floor -Atrium Building, Makati Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. The elegant restaurant transforms into a trendy bar lounge at 11pm with great music and, of course, the impeccable creations of Chef Patrice.

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}