Picture: Nomazima Nkosi
Chefs Marie Wucher, left, Annelie Oosthuizen and Cyril Bonnard Picture: Nomazima Nkosi
A six hands dinner by two French chefs, as well as a local one, resulted in a burst of flavours, new takes on traditional meals and a lot of happy tummies at the “So Chef!” dinner last Saturday at the Fairview Racecourse.
The six hands, three-course dinner menu was prepared by hotel owner and pastry chef Marie Wucher, La Parc Obernai sous chef Cyril Bonnard and Petronella Catering chef Annelie Oosthuizen.
Brought about by Alliance Francaise, Wucher said, apart from the dinner, they wanted to showcase French cuisine, as well as discover what dishes they could come up with by using local ingredients.
“We’ve done workshops with PE College students where we showed them how to make our pickle recipe, chocolate ganache, as well as traditional and modern recipes and new styles of plating,” Wucher said.
Wucher, who runs Le Parc Obernai restaurant in the Alsace region in France along with her brother said So Chef was inspired by a famous festival in France called La Semaine du Goût Festival, translated as “Flavour Week Festival”.
“Cuisine is very big in France and every year chefs visit schools with cooking demonstrations to show them how to use healthier ingredients and this is what we’ve also done in our time here,” Wucher said.
Bonnard, who met Wucher while working in a restaurant in Las Vegas, said he demonstrated a very traditional Alsace dish which was a chicken casserole with a white wine sauce and fresh pasta made with a special machine he brought from France.
“We displayed different techniques on how to cut it, roast it and cook it using some garnish,” Bonnard said. Wucher and Bonnard work as chefs at La Parc Obarnai Hotel.
La Parc has been in Wucher’s family for more than 60 years and according to her, it was started by her grandmother, who then passed it on to her father and eventually to her brother and herself.
Guests at the “So Chef!” six hands dinner enjoyed a three-course feast. The starter, prepared by Bonnard, was pan-fried Cape salmon with citrus virgin sauce and broccoli puree.
The main meal, prepared by Oosthuizen, was a Klein Karoo ostrich medallion, roast mace-doine potatoes, baby marrow spaghetti and deep-fried Parma ham served with a cream of mushroom sauce.
And, of course, the cherry on top was the lemon sable and meringue dessert!