As if four appetizer courses weren`t enough… It was time to have the mains:
Spaghetti with wild mushroom ragout & parmiggiano reggiano.
Our Sales Team leader Shai put together a hearty winter ragout of wild mushrooms and fortified chicken broth; tossed with spaghetti and topped generously with crunchy Parmiggiano Reggiano.
We learned two things about the pasta from the 2012 LFBR staff dinner; first, that the pasta should be served closer to the end, and in relatively small amounts. Second, gnocchi & braised rabbit has a bigger knock-out punch than a granddaddy dose of NyQuil.
Our man in the field, Terry Nak, cast his net wide into the culinary ocean. What he pulled on board was a duo of rare salmon & tuna sashmi with chipolte ailoi & yuzu soy reduction, respectively.
Seared foie gras, Japanese eggplant, enoki mushrooms & miso glaze.
Last of the “first” courses, but certainly not least, was a recipe our president Elaine had her eye on for a while. Seared slice of foie gras with roasted Japanese eggplant, taro crisps, & enoki mushrooms; bathed in a miso glaze.
With the ball being hit out of the park with each successive course prepared, our two scheduled main courses had a lot to live up to…
A photo submission from our friend Carmine at Vincenzo’s in Waterloo, during a recent trip to Switzerland to see the Gruyere production.
A few hundred wheels of AOC Gruyere… almost ready!
Gruyere 1655 AOC
Gruyere 1655 AOC is produced using a traditional recipe from its town of origin: Gruyere, Switzerland. The cheese was originally produced by two brothers and officially took on its name in 1655, when a nobleman discovered their cheese and began having them produce it exclusively for his family. To this day, the traditions that began with the Rime Brothers in 1655 are followed as closely as possible. The alpine pastures of the Swiss canton of Fribourg are rich and green, and are particularly nourishing for the grazing cows. The 1655 AOC is made only by unparalleled master cheesemakers who follow precise rules for its production, resulting in awards of distinction for the consistently superior quality of their cheese. The cheese is aged in the Gruyere Cellars for an undisclosed number of months (likely between 6 and 12 months), a secret held only by the master cheesemakers.
Gruyere 1655 is a warm, toasty treat for all of the senses. First examine the mottled golden-brown colour of the rind; each wheel of the 1655 grows a tacky outer layer that ensures a healthy cheese & a full, rich flavour can be found within. The paste is smooth, clean and cream-coloured; studded with crunchy specks of grana. Aromas from the Gruyere are soft and inviting, with notes of freshly toasted bread and dried fruit. The texture is creamy smooth and melts quickly over the tongue. Gruyere 1655’s flavour will flow over your entire palate, exciting you with complex flavours of nuts, toast and cream.
To appreciate the Gruyere 1655 to its fullest, savour it alone, or with thin slices of charcuterie and pickles as part of a larger informal meal. Gruyere 1655 pairs well with many wine varieties, including dry white wines with delicate, fruity aromas, mineral notes and a touch of acidity; sparkling apple or pear ciders, or a dark bock beer also work very well with Gruyere.
Vacherin Mont D’Or is a famous seasonal cheese, produced in small quantities between August 15th & March 15th only. It is traditionally eaten during the winter months in the Jura region of France & Switzerland. The various Vacherin cheeses are distinguished based upon the specific origin of the milk used in production. The Vacherin Mont D’Or is crafted carefully, hand ladled then drained through canvas. Once the small round has drained and salted, it is encircled by a strip of spruce bark which helps the cheese to keep its shape during its 2-week maturation period as well as impart a wide range of tastes and aromas found in very few other cheeses.
The Vacherin Mont D’Or is a rich & creamy, soft & decadent cheese. The grayish-cream-coloured rind is marked by the indents of its mould and thinly protects the prized cheese, don’t worry if the rind has cracked; that just means it is very ripe and ready to enjoy! Aromas from the Vacherin Mont D’Or are primal; very much of mushrooms and freshly turned earth. The ring of spruce bark which surrounds the cheese also adds incredible aromas of a dense, alpine forest. The paste is cream-coloured and looks like shiny, melting butter and oozes at prime ripeness, to the point that is can be eaten using a spoon!
Try Vacherin Mont D’or accompanied by potatoes and most certainly with bacon! You can also use a spoon to ladle the room temperature cheese into a heel of bread. It is ideal to pair Vacherin with a crisp, dry white wine from Savoie, such as a Chignin-Bergeron.