Dec 15, '08

Les Ambassadeurs

Les Ambassadeurs

Despite the ancienty of the dining room -18th century ballroom with cold marble floors and walls, heavy curtains and crystal chandeliers, Jean – François Piège, the chef of Les Ambassadeurs, is the 21st-century man.

Jean – François Piège’s menu that night didn’t contain any sashimis or other exotic dishes interpretations nowadays so popular among the chefs  “étoilés” (and not really “étoilés” ).In fact, it seemed to me that Piège cooking is quite “bourgeois”, let’s call it ” bourgeois revisited”. How can you call “Noix de Saint-Jacques en casse croûte potiron, tartufi di Alba” or  “Vollaile de Bresse comme une poule a riz, tartufi di Alba” otherwise?  The dishes were hearty but so fine that next day I  was still thinking of the beautiful, almost poetic marriage of tastes. (Unfortunately, the pictures I took were not as good as the food. You can see some beautiful pictures at “A LIfe Worth Eating” blog).

The scallops worked very well with pumpkin reduction and generous slices of white truffles all wrapped up in galette de Bretagne, so as ” Bar de ligne,tapioca d’huîtres fleur-feuille de bourrache” , sea bass with oysters tapioca served with mini black bread sandwiches with black truffle butter and with chorizo (?). Jean -François Piège likes to mix the simplicity of everyday food with the luxury of 2 Michelin stars gastronomy. Like the amuse-bouche called “plateau télé”, a mini tray with treats like the emulsion of foie gras, “cigar” of cornichons and ham (crispy and melting in your mouth)or butter with black truffles wrapped up like candy in a silver paper. 

Les Ambassadeurs

 “Charlotte aux poires”  continued the “bourgeois” spirit of the dinner, but remained light and fine. The “pre-dessert” were tiny “Eskimo” ice cream…

I don’t know a lot of chefs like Jean – François Piège , who are so sure of themselves that they succeed to cook delicious and memorable food without too much experimentation. Les Ambassadeurs is proof that modern gastronomy can be “high flying”, without flying too far.

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