Posted on 24 June 2008 by admin
Day two of my cooking odyssey took place at Le Bois Masson in the Vendée. This was a very different type of cooking course, with a focus on getting your hands slimy, trying things you’ve never tried before and being bossed about by the chef Fredo Daville (are chef’s the same the world over?).
More fish was on the menu – red mullet this time – and our first job was to descale, debone and cut away the fillets. It looks easy when a chef with five year’s training at the Ritz in Paris does it, but even the experienced cooks in our group struggled to scrape.
Starting off with the most difficult task really broke the ice – we were following chef Fredo’s instructions in French, which means keeping a close eye on his actions and picking out the odd word. Our crib sheet of instructions helped and one we got in the groove, we were really cooking!
After prepping our fish we moved on to the sauce, with Fredo convincing us we could combine fruit, caramel and veal paste. It sounds bizarre but it really worked – that’s one more trick for the next dinner party.
Veg was a cinch and the group paired off to make sure the final preparations ran smoothly – everyone was frying, stirring, chopping (or hiding in the corner taking pictures).
And then we were done. With a triumphant yell Fredo declared we were ready to serve and so we all gathered round hopefully as our creation came together.
To fully enjoy the meal we moved on to the terrace, where we could soak up the last of the sun, share the wine and marvel at our meal – fish, fruit and caramel really can work.
This course is for: anyone with an interest in cooking – even though Fredo speaks French his actions are easy to follow and the recipe is given in English.