The Best British Classic, The Christmas Pudding

Bertrand Munier

History and Tradition of Christmas Pudding

Does your Christmas dinner include a Christmas Pudding? If you lived in England, the absence of this delectable dessert from the holiday table would raise a few eyebrows. The pudding is the most special part of the meal, although families alter the way it’s cooked and presented to create their own unique traditions. Originally the Christmas Pudding was referred to as hakin because of its multitude of ingredients.

In 1714, King George I re-established pudding as part of the Christmas feast even though the Quakers strongly objected. Meat was eliminated from the recipe in the 17th century in favor of more sweets, and people began sprinkling it with brandy and setting it aflame when serving it to their guests. The Christmas pudding was not a tradition in England until it was introduced to the Victorians by Prince Albert. By this time the pudding looked…

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10 reasons why Lyon is the capital of gastronomy

Find out why Lyon has been known as the world’s food capital for some 80 years with these top 10 facts on Lyon’s gastronomy.

Not only is Lyon amazingly beautiful but for some 80 years Lyon has also been recognised as the food capital of France and the world. In 1935, famed French food critic Curnonsky, dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, described the city of Lyon as the ‘world capital of gastronomy’. If you ever find yourself in Lyon, you are obliged to test, try and enjoy the food, and you’ll truly learn about the origins of a common passion in France – a love of French food.

Lyon is the ideal place to discover French cuisine and to fall in love with it. With more than 1,500 eateries, Lyon city has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per capita in France. In the 21st century, Lyon’s simple and high-quality cuisine has been exported to other parts of France and abroad.

Lyon is an amazing place: a big, modern and historical city. It’s full of authentic French people who have their own way of communicating but are lovely, funny and chatty, adding to the city’s charm. But instead of praising Lyon for its beauty and importance as a French city, here are 10 reasons why it’s renown as the capital of gastronomy.

Top 10 reasons why Lyon is the world’s capital of gastronomy

1. Because of its location

Lyon is surrounded by some of the finest raw materials in France and has become the hub for a variety of ingredients and top quality regional products. Summer vegetables come from farms in Charolais, lake fish from Savoy, game from the Dombes, the best pork from Monts du Lyonnais, and spring fruits and vegetables from Drôme and Ardèche. Plus you can get quality wines in Beaujolais and the Rhone Valley, not to mention the array of local cheeses. And the ‘royalty’ of chickens come from Bresse, and of course Bresse gave origin to the tasty Bresse Bleu fromage! Could you really ask for more?

2. Because of the famous Les Halles de Lyon

This is a renknown, prestigious indoor market which was created in 1971, and renovated and renamed in honour of top French chef Paul Bocuse in 2006. It can be expensive but if you are looking for the best regional products listed above or simply want to eat lunch or dinner, you will find what you need here. It is also worth visiting Les Halles de Lyon because Mr Bocuse can sometimes be seen chatting to traders and his suppliers. It’s easily accessible in central Lyon next to Part Dieu – another place you need to visit.

3. Because of the outdoor markets

Lyon is well known for its plentiful markets, which are a great alternative to Les Halle de Lyon. They are where savvy people can find very good quality regional products at a bon price. One of the best is on Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse. Situated on a steep hill, the market offers not only the very freshest regional products but also amazing views. Another popular market is Saint Antoine Farmers Market, which is open every day except Monday and farmers set up their market tables along the banks of the Saône River. It’s a great authentic way to discover how French people value food and see the Lyon art of selling cheese, wine, and saucisson.

4. Because of Lyonnaise specialities

It’s hard to begin as there are so many Lyonnaise specialities in each area. Lyon is all about rustic, rich French food, and is famous for a number of unique meals: think about a smoky pork sausage with pistachios served on a dollap of mashed potatoes with a cream sauce, or a brochette of foie gras, or a colourful macaron, and obviously the well-known to all, quenelles, typically a mixture of creamed fish (image below). Then there are the very typical Lyonnaise saucissons and its varieties. When it comes to cheese, Lyon offers the St-Marcellin and St-Félicien varieties from nearby Isère. I don’t even want to start on desserts as there are so many tasty things, but to name a few Lyon has their famous Les bugnes, Coussin de Lyon, Tarte Praline and Christmas papillotes.

Lyon's specialty foods

5. Because Lyon has been home to many top chefs

Lyon has always been an attractive place for chefs to settle and develop their skills, not least for the ‘mothers of Lyon’ who were the iconic women behind the creation of Lyon’s bouchons (traditional restaurants) and the city’s culinary reputation. It started with Mère Fillioux, who opened her own bistro and was the first ‘mother’ to gain a wide reputation, and later taught the craft to the even more famous Mère Brazier, the very teacher of our great Bocuse. This pattern has continued, and nowadays there are the famous Georges Blanc, Mathieu Viannay, Christian Têtedoie, Lacombe and Orsi, to name just a few, who still hold the banner high for French gastronomy. Lyon also attracts many creative young spirits, such as Sébastien Bouillet, or rising stars, such as Le Bec, Viannay, and Ezgulian. Increasingly there are more and more chefs appearing in Lyon, learning crafts from the best restaurants and the local schools such as the L’Institut Paul Bocuse and L’École Vatel. They offer training in hospitality, food service and culinary skills, and the apprentiships you can do in Lyon’s top restaurants provide some the best culinary experience one can gain.

Great Chefs in Lyon

6. Because Lyon has bouchons

A bouchon is a unique type of restuaurant that is only found in Lyon. They are a part of Lyonnaise history and are usually small, family-owned bistros that serve a specific type of cuisine, have a specific atmosphere, as well as a typical decor. According to one French language school, the word buchon didn’t exist in any other French town. They serve really heavy, homemade foods, stemming from the recipes the mothers of Lyons served to the silk workers.

Top French food

7. Because Lyon maintains its rich culinary traditions

On top of well-known Lyonnaise culinary traditions such as bouchons and Meres de Lyon (mothers of Lyon) recipes, Lyon also supports and continues the city’s great tradition of mâchon. Does it sound mysterious? Mâchon is a type of meal served in the morning (before lunchtime) but it is a heavy meal. It can start with pate, followed by a meaty main course topped with a sauce, and finished off with some cheese. The tradition of mâchon comes directly from the canutes – the silk weavers of the Croix-Rousse were coming back from night shifts hungry and they stopped by the local bars to share a meal. Nowadays, there is even a philanthropic organisation in Lyon for the encouragement and knowledge of mâchon called Franc Machons, which has awarded honorary diplomas to about 50 institutions that entitles them to organise and serve those meals. An example includes Chez les Gones restaurant, which starts serving from 9am a three-course meal that usually includes pâté, followed by andouillette with mustard sauce and cheese to finish, accompanied by a glass of Côtes du Rhône.

Lyon Paul Bocuse8. Because of the Pope of French Cuisine

You have probably already heard about the renown French chef Mr Bocuse, who has been dubbed the Pope of French cuisine. He is an exceptional chef who introduced Lyon to the whole and the world to nouvelle cuisine. It is a style of cooking that is characterised by lighter, delicate dishes and an increased focus on the presentation of the food. You could say he broke the rules of the Lyonnaise bouchons (very heavy meals) – and succeeded.


9. Because of the quality and number of top restaurants, boulangeries, patisseries and chocolatiers

More than 1,500 good restaurants, 13 awarded the prestigious Michelin Stars, and the highest numbers of restaurants per inhabitant in France – there’s no shortage of culinary establishments in this gastronomic centre of experimentation and innovation. Besides that, there are many authentic places to eat, such as century-old brasseries or the traditional bouchons (traditional Lyonnaise restaurants); a good example is the often full Bouchon des Filles, where you won’t get a menu but the owner will tell you what they serve. Outside of the restaurant scence are more Lyonnaise food gems – the dedicated charcuteries, fromageries, chocolatiers, boulangeries, vienniesseniers, cremeries and more. Some recommendations include the charcuteries Bonnardand Sabilia, the fromagerie Galland (Croix-Rousse), the tasty boulangerie/patisserie Jocteur, the chocolatierBernachon, and for eggs, La Crèmerie Lyonnaise.

10. Because Lyon has Sirha

Sirha was founded in Lyon in 1983 and is the biggest professional and international trade fair dedicated to food service and hospitality. Since then, Lyon has been responsible for gathering together the best in the gastronomy industy, thus SHIRA has become important for networking and discovering new trends – and a great event for the public to taste-test new foods. There are 17 professional competitions during Sirha, including the very prestigious international ones like Bocuse d’Or and Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie.

Now you will likely be tempted to come and experience some of France’s best cuisine. Bon appetite!

Shopaholic from home / Expatica

Aga had never spoken French nor been to France until she moved to Lyon. She is a Pole who now spends her free time with her ears and eyes wide open, observing cultural traits, soaking in customs and writing about them on her blog. She also loves shopping – online shopping, window shopping, all forms of shopping! You’ll find her on J’adore Lyon.

Photo credits: Fryke27 (quenelle), Alain Elorza (Paul Bocuse), Jacques Lameloise/Arnaud 25 (thumbnail).

article from http://www.expatica.com/fr/out-and-about/Top-10-reasons-why-Lyon-the-capital-of-gastronomy_476910.html

thank you for reading

Bertrand Munier 

 

My favorite Winter Treat ! Italian Hot Chocolate

Bertrand Munier

Hot chocolate Recipe

Italy is famous for their Cioccolato Caldo, especially during the fall and winter months. This hot chocolate is sometimes served so thick (like a pudding), that you need a spoon to actually eat it! this recipe doesn’t make it that thick. The luxurious richness comes from using top-quality chocolate.

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What You Will Need:

  1. 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate 70% or higher
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 2 teaspoons corn starch

What To Do:

  1. Into a saucepan over LOW heat add chocolate and a drop of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted.
  2. SLOWLY add remaining milk until it’s well combined. Add sugar. Mix to combine. Whisk in corn starch.
  3. Continue cooking over LOW heat until it becomes thick, creamy and coats the back of the wooden spoon.

Hot chocolate Italian-style is one of the most amazing treats in the world! You have to try…

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How To make a sorbet

Sorbet is a dessert very easy to make and low in calorie

Fruit sorbet is a refreshing dessert that reminds you of the breezy, carefree days of Summer

It is light eating, and makes you feel guilt free while enjoying its taste.

ingredients

  • 250 g of water
  • 250g of sugar
  • 500g  of fresh Fruits (mango, raspberry, apricot, lemon, strawberry, kiwwis ) Puree
  • 1 Lemon Juice strained (optional)

1 Mix water and sugar in  saucepan.

2 Bring sugar water to a boil.

3Let simmer for 15 Minutes.

4Put the fruit puree in your blender or food processor and puree them.

5 Mix fuit puree with  cold sugar syrup and lemon juice

6Pour mixture into an ice cream machine and make sorbet using manufacturer’s instructions

Tips

if you don’t have any ice cream machine,  freeze the sorbet for several hours or overnight, Blend with  food processor and you will get a nice sorbet
enjoy
Bertrand Munier
bertrand munier

Dinner? Lunch ? Canapes? Look no further than the services of Ideal Party

Established in London in 1999, Bertrand Munier brings his passion for food and 25 years of experience in the catering industry. French heritage and Michelin starred experience- hard to go wrong! Bertrand Munierbertrand munier

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Ideal Party by Bertrand Munier offers a fantastic range of canapes, starter, main courses and dessert  which can be boxed up for home delivery.

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The canapes range from cold selections, hot selections and Verrine selections in short glasses. It is difficult not to drool over the extensive and innovative list of canapes.  They also arrive on clever Presentation platters which you can keep !!

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IMG_8838The dinner range from stater to  main courses is also very easy to warm up in the oven and you can have any help from bertrand’s butler to set up and serve the dinner like a michelin start restaurant in your own home !!

The final touch,  the dessert !! Bertrand Munier and is pastry chef give you always the best of the french tradition Tarte tatin , Chocolate Opera, eclairs and many more French Patisserie, 

Savour your favourite french Classic on  ideal party website by chef Bertrand Munier .www.bertrandmunier.co.uk 

This is soon the Season to make your own Quinces Jelly …

  • Quinces  are rather odd fruit; they look half-way between an apple and a pear, they are not good to eat off the tree, they are quite hard, they are loaded with pectin (a natural jelling agent), and they make the most lovely rose-colored jelly.
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  • Wash the quinces, scourer off the down, and then quarter them roughly. Put the cut up quince into a preserving pan with the water and simmer long and slowly until they become soft. It can take over an hour to reduce well.
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    Strain through a jelly bag overnight (by jelly bag, I mean a tea towel or very fine sieve – whatever you have at your disposal that fits within that criteria will be fine). Do not force the juice, as it will make it cloudy.
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  • Measure the juice into the preserving pan, and for each 600 mls of juice add 375g caster sugar. Bring juice to simmering point, add the sugar and the strained lemon juice. Dissolve over a very low heat. Boil fast and begin testing for a set after 10 minutes. When soft set is reached, pour into small, sterislised, hot jars and seal.
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    This jelly stiffens during storage, and looks like a ruby jewel in the jar. It is delicious is served with lamb or boiled or baked pork, or simply as jelly with toast and butter for breakfast.

Thank you enjoy

Bertrand www.bertrandmunier.co.uk 

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The best hot canapes ! Gougères recipe from Burgundy

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Whether you are going to a Michelin star restaurant or at a friend’s house in France, you will most likely be served gougères canapes to accompany your aperitif drinks (drinks served before a meal). Gougères are traditional cheese puffs made with either Emmenthal or Comté cheese. These little canapes luxuries are perfect with champagne or wine (they are often served during wine-tastings) – and so chic if you have them home-made. Originally from Burgundy, these puffs were invented in the 17th century in a patisserie called ‘Le ramequin de Bourgogne’. So next time you have guests, why don’t you dazzle them with these golden puffs.

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Ingredients (makes about 40)

250 ml/ 1 cup water

100 g/ 3.5 ounce salted butter

150 g/ 1 1/4 cups plain flour

180 g/ 2 cups grated Emmenthal or Gruyère cheese

4 eggs

A dash of ground nutmeg

1 egg yolk for glazing

A dash of salt and pepper

Pre-heat the over 180°

In a saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Add the flour, stirring very fast and take immediately off the 6880354b233b989968432d063bf6700dheat. By now the batter will be roughly in the form of a soft ball. Add the eggs, one by one and stir. It’s important to add the eggs slowly – don’t worry if it looks too thick, just continue to stir as it will eventually become a smooth batter. Finally add the cheese, salt & pepper and stir to a good dewy batter.

Prepare a baking tray line with parchment paper. You have two choices for preparing the gougères: either put the dough in a pastry bag with a standard tip and pipe walnut sized mounds, or spoon and shape with the help of two teaspoons and evenly shaped ball (again like the size of a walnut). Glaze with the egg yolk for a golden baked finish. Sprinkle the puffs lightly with grated cheese.

Leave an adequate space between each gougères and bake for 25 minutes approx or until puffy and golden. Serve immediately.

ps: You can prepare these in advance and either refrigerate or freeze them. Just take them out again before serving and heat in a high-heat oven for 5-7 minutes.

bon appétit

Bertrand Munier

I’m Crazy for a chocolate Eclair !!

Chocolate éclairs are among the world’s most famous pastries and they are certainly one of my  great Dessert .

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But must of the pastry shop in england and US  sell then with Chantilly cream and chocolate fondant on the top .

This is why I like you to discover the French version of this golden cake …

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Some best Patisserie in France  Like Fauchon, Lenotre bake some fantastic selection,( Rose, caramel, pistachio, coffee, vanilla, chocolate )

As a chef I start do do some different Flavours with raspberry, lemon,  strawberry and this eclair are working so well  with my cocktail party.

For me a eclair need to be Classic and Fashion at the same time ( the Summer eclair …. )

Eclairs are set to become the new cupcake, according to  London retailers.

Selfridges said sales are up nearly a quarter compared with this time last year, and its afternoon tea venue — Dolly’s — is set to sell 12 new varieties. M&S and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen have also launched flavoured éclairs, with the latter offering rhubarb and custard.

Experts put the resurgence of the choux pastry treat down to the popularity of afternoon tea and the revival of home baking brought about by TV’s The Great British Bake Off. M&S said: “We think this will be the year of the éclair … it seems their popularity will soon be challenging the mighty cupcake.”

The chocolate éclair has long been a staple in UK patisseries, but new flavours are key to the boom. Selfridges’ executive chef, Mark Taylor, said: “On a recent trip to Paris, the range of flavours was vast — pistachio, mint, violet cream.”

Discover the french Patisserie ( french video )

Bertrand Munier

www.bertrandmunier.co.uk

How living in France changes your lifestyle..

Whether for better or for worse, many foreigners find that their habits alter when they move to France. Here, a few veteran expats share their experiences of how French culture has changed their lifestyles.

For Janine Marsh, editor of The Good Life France, it’s her attitude towards meal times that has altered the most since moving to France.

“During my 15-minute lunch ‘hour’ in London, I’d rush to do my shopping, pay cheques into the bank, phone the utility services, etc,” she recalls.

In France, however, time off for lunch is sacred

eclaire idealparty

“For two hours, banks and shops close. Road workers, doctors, butchers, bakers, candlestick-makers simply va va voom at lunchtime to the restaurant of choice.”

Any tips? Visit you local council office before the lunch break, advises Janine, if you want to get anything important done.

There may be increasing fears over the rise in binge-drinking in France, but there’s still a big difference between the British and Gallic drinking culture, according to “A Year in the Merde” author Stephen Clarke.

“I now drink much less than British friends, who are capable of sinking twice as many pints as me during an evening. France just isn’t as much of a binge-drinking culture (though it’s now taking root here),” says Clarke.

Colin Randall, editor of France Salut and the former France correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, has also noticed a change in his drinking habits.

“I think nothing of having something from the trolley on the train into London from airports but never even think of looking for a pre-flight bar in France,” says Randall.

Piu Eatwell, the British expat author of They Eat Horses, Don’t They, agrees.

“A decade of Gallic influence means that I now almost never drink spirits such as whisky or gin, and certainly not as an ‘apéritif’. The only pre-dinner drinks I drink now are Champagne or Kir,” she says.

“I pretty much exclusively drink wine, and only ever accompanied by some sort of food (generally at meal times, or with an apéro).”

Quality over quantity

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Paris-based American writer Lindsey Tramuta, who runs the Lost in Cheeseland blog says she’s learned to value quality above all else.

“My base expectations on quality – ingredients, craftsmanship, experiences – have gotten higher since living in France these last nine years.

“Surrounded by artisans in everything from food to home goods who themselves place a premium on quality, has indeed influenced my own consumption habits. Buy less, buy better.”

Author Stephen Clarke says he’s abandoned the weekly supermarket shop since moving to France.

“I go food shopping every day rather than filling up a supermarket trolley and trying to live off the contents for a week.

“Sometimes I go out and buy fresh bread twice a day, straight from the oven. My whole idea of freshness has changed.

more ….

a bientot

Bertrand Munier

www.bertrandmunier.co.uk