Food Events| A French Pastry Festival with Le Cordon Bleu. Also, Thermomix comes to India

“I hope that every time Indian consumers taste one our delicacies, they will feel an attachment to French culture and culinary arts, and more importantly our love for food”
Chef Christian Faure M.O.F.

French Pastry Festival LCB Chef Christian FaureIt’s been a busy week of sorts and the words seem like an understatement. There seems to be a buzz in culinary activity here recently and suddenly so much more to do as the year wraps up. The French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries through Sopexa, in partnership with the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and Le Cordon Bleu launched a 3-week promotion dedicated to French pastry. I had the pleasure of attending a media event  for the French Pastry Festival as a part of the ongoing festival of bringing French delicacies to India.  It coincides with the four-day visit of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and first lady Carla Bruni, and celebrates France’s rich cultural and gastronomic tradition, bringing it to the Indian subcontinent.

Renowned Chef Christian Faure, M.O.F, Pastry Instructor & Director of Operations, Le Cordon Bleu, is conducting master classes on the art of French pastry techniques to perfect the skills of the chefs from the Oberoi Hotels in Mumbai, Bengaluru & Delhi.  The festival also offers the Indian audience a chance to taste authentic French pastries.

Le Cordon Bleu is considered to be the guardian of French culinary technique through its culinary programs that continue to preserve and pass on the mastery and appreciation of the culinary arts that have been the cornerstone of French gastronomy for over 500 years.

French Pastry Festival LCB Chef Christian FaureAbout his India visit, Chef Christian Faure said “I am delighted to be part of this training. Le Cordon Bleu, with 35 schools in 20 countries, is dedicated to the transmission of the culinary arts. It is a pleasure to see the enthusiasm and motivation of the Indian public to learn more about French cuisine and pastries.Blown Sugar WorkShop by LCB Chef Christian Faure, MOFThe chef demonstrated his pull sugar artistry, blown sugar work and talked us through making his signature dish “Pomme Rouge soufflé / Sugar soufflé red apple”. He shared thoughts and emotions that should go into creating a dessert for special occasions, keeping us regaled with his engaging style and humorous banter. Mainly conversing in English with a deep throat-ed French accent, stepping in with quick bursts in French as easily and beautifully as he displayed his art, he had his audience captivated!

Some thoughts he left me with …  ‘THINK; think with your heart!’, ‘Create an emotion through the dish, create an element of surprise, an expectation…’, ‘Spirit dominates matter, and that is what makes a Master Chef’, ‘20% of the dish goes on visual appeal, 80% on taste’.

It was a treat to be able to attend his coveted workshop, and a dream come true to get the opportunity to meet such a celebrated chef from LCB who creates dishes for Heads of States and for events like G20 summits.Blown Sugar WorkShop by LCB Chef Christian Faure, MOFHe introduced a special sugar now available in India from French brand DGF {marketed in India by Inducia}, a sugar for use in the culinary industry, one that doesn’t caramelize on being exposed to heat. DGF specializes in the supply of pastry and bakery products for professionals.French Pastry Festival LCB Chef Christian FaureThere was a dazzling array of desserts prepared by Chef Faure on display; his passion for fruit and light desserts outwardly visible. I expected to find ‘feet‘ here, and those were the first delights my eyes focused on. We had the pleasure of  sampling the spread as dessert after a really nice lunch of Tomato Soup, Sumac Chicken, Fish in  a Lemon & Dill Sauce, Spinach & Garlic Roasted Baby Potatoes, Saffron Risotto, Pasta in a Mushroom Sauce. I tried two of the desserts, in addition to the macaron of course; the crème bavaroise with  strawberry coulis, and the chocolate mousse cake. Both desserts spoke volumes of the chefs signature line. LIGHT, airy, mousse like and with a perfect balance of flavours! The toppings and garnishes caught my eye. Was indeed a celebration of French pastry complete with variety, colour, texture – something for everyone.

Le Cordon Bleu Workshop, DelhiCame back with a certificate of attendance, which I am clearly very proud to own.

The view from The Oberoi rooftop...beautiful, lush, green Delhi!

The view from The Oberoi rooftop...beautiful, lush, green Delhi!

Thank you Khyati from Sopexa for organising this, and thank you ‘The Oberoi‘ for hosting the event at your gorgeous property!

The other exciting event last week was a demo for T H E R M O M I X … a word that spells magic.  I‘ve been bitten, I’m smitten, and I’m in love again! Good heavens…what a dream machine.  The BMW of the culinary world is what it’s been referred to as. It has a heart of gold, almost a miniature aircraft engine in there, with even the proverbial black box! I crawled out from under a rock obviously because when I was contacted by Christina, the Thermomix lady in India, as I had no clue what Thermomix was. It was the Kitchen Aid that was on my wish-list, and this came as a bolt out of the blue; now it has me fascinated.

Take a look at what it can do…Mills, Grinds, Pulverises & Grates coffee beans, chocolate, all grains, pulses, sugar into icing sugar, all nuts, all spices, breadcrumbs; Kneads all breads, pizzas, pasta dough, pastries; Minces; Prepares drinks, salads, dressings, ice creams, cakes, pavlovas, jams,  cappuccino, caffè latte & ice coffee, yogurt; Cooks soups, sauces, curries,pasta,risotto,custard,baby food; Whips egg whites, cake batter, frostings, cream, butter;  Crushes ice {this sharpens the blades too}; Steams fish, vegetables, dumplings…

Thermomix Demo, Delhi, IndiaAll that in one appliance that will even wash itself! You might find that hard to digest, and quite unbelievable, which I did too … until I went for the demo. It does amaze with it’s ability to tirelessly and quickly carry out the above. It certainly lives up to it’s earned title of the world’s smallest, smartest kitchen.

In under 2 hours, we made ‘from scratch’ papaya sorbet {in 3 minutes!}, tomato soup {we ground dried lentils to act as a thickener}, Salad, Hollandaise sauce {including first flavouring the vinegar with spices}, roasting garam masala, making curry powder, a basic curry paste {cooking included}, and a vanilla custard. Did I forget kneading bread dough in a few minutes too? Yes, we did that too, and I came home and baked delicious bread with the dough which rose in the hours drive back home!

Thermomix BreadNow comes the hard part… wanting this magical machine, and counting my pennies because it does cost a packet!! It costs Rs 79,000/= in the Indian market, but then is a replacement for all kitchen appliances {which seem to fall lamely redundant in front of this mean machine}.  I think it’s an investment, a lifestyle change just waiting to happen! I’m seriously thinking of getting one, and am glad Mr PAB got me my DSLR some time back, else given a choice, I might have possibly gone for the Thermomix!French CookingI’ve been cooking up some yummies in my kitchen of late and with some stroke of luck, they seem to share some French origins! The first are these absolutely delicious Chicken, Mushroom and Roasted Pepper Julienes {said to be of French & Russian descent}. The second one is this ‘light as cloud and not to be missedMarie-Helene’s Apple Cake from Dorie Greenspans new book Around My French Table. Those posts should follow soon, to keep in tune with the French food festival!

I’m one of the 2 finalists here.

Vote here

Would you take a moment and  “Vote for your Blog of the Year Finalist here!!!” Thank you!!

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

The French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries through Sopexa, in partnership with the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and Le Cordon Bleu will be launching a 3-week promotion dedicated to French pastry.
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Comments

  1. Wow, congratulation Deeba. How lucky :) Will vote for you !

  2. Voted ! I hope you win – good luck Deeba.

  3. First of all Congrats Deeba, for attending LCB pastry workshop…U must be feeling on top of the world…Now for this machine I never knew it exsisted, if I show it to my husbnd he’ll be so happy and will stop buying me any more kitchen gadget he always criticize that why can’t companies make one machine which can do all task rather then making 100 diff. mach. for 100 diff. things…..Now coming to the cost part that will be totally diff. story……may be next time if he ever decide to buy me some diamonds instead I will request THERMOMIX…lol…….btw I’m going to vote for u….hope u wins….all the best..

  4. Just voted…

  5. What a fabulous event!
    On my to vote!

  6. WOW ! (quite an understatement :P)

    Congrats Deeba ! quite a day with all the French cuisine……

    Thermomix…………looks very very tempting asset to buy for the kitchen ……

    I hope you win the blog of the year, Bonne chance ! (Just voted for you ;) )

  7. Voted too!

    What a great event. Congrats!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  8. Dear Deeba this was a fabolous event! Look absolutely nice! I love French recipes!
    You look nice in the pics, dear I voted for you! huggs gloria

  9. I love this machine but here is not yet!! some day maybe! xx gloria

  10. Oh what a beautiful french day….me love !!!
    I dont know why the portuguese speaking me remebers none of those few french words i know when i need them most:-)
    Le air te temp …jadore Deeba, oh Deeba i loveee the air the of times the air of love and the air of french desserts!
    Thats quite an excitn certificate to have!!
    That Gadget is super coollll, my family is gng to get me a DSLR too :-),maybe next year , but lods of goodies are already coming in and my present cam hasnt hit the 12months yet so i wait!
    u know what i still want the KA to this :-)
    i was given a voucher for it too but spend it on other goodies:-(

    Loved ur pink loving niece too , oh what a delightful little gurl , m so in love ad ur pretty cake rocks as well!!!
    Well i do see u have a hestic schedule but we will catch up our mails sooon:-)
    Hugs and love!

  11. Wow congrats Deeba for attending the French pastry workshop.. thats really awesome and exciting opportunity. You look gorgeous in all the pictures and the pastries looks mouthwatering. Beautiful gadget by the way.. Good luck on your win dear. Voted for you !!!

  12. Oh Absolutely Deeba, I’m honoured to vote for you :) Best of luck with it, and Wow, what about the Thermomix…., I have wanted one for awhile but haven’t allowed myself to really really understand all it does…, (think once I knew it’d be the end of me and I’d have to have)…. now….. I have to have & my little mind is going into overdrive trying to figure out how I can magically manifest it :)
    Excellent write up.., interesting to hear about that sugar.
    Cheers Anna

  13. You sure had fun Deeba, envy you! That gadget sounds super cool, would have bought it soon if not for that crater it will burn in my pocket:)).

    Congrats on being shortlisted! Have voted for you! Wish you all the very best!!!

  14. Looks like you had a great time Deeba..have voted for you-hope you win!!

  15. Wow, what a great post! Off to vote. ;)

  16. I will vote! And by the way, I am the proud owner of a Thermomix and for me it’s worth every penny of the investment. I use it on a continuous basis. So if you have any doubt about its features, just ask me!

  17. ARTHI says:

    Just voted for you my dahling and im so proud of ya! Im starting my patisserie course in Le Cordon Bleu here in London and cant be happier ;-)…I can imagine yr excitement..and that mean beast I need it..shld talk to “S”..

  18. I’d attended the same event at Bombay, Chef spoke about that gorgeous pulled sugar apple thing, but he didn’t create it. You guys are so lucky :) But it was an awesome event :)

    That Thermonix is ridiculously priced!!!

  19. What fun you’ve been having Deeba! Lucky you. And I don’t even want to know any more about the thermomix because I’d start obsessing about one.

  20. Wow, how exciting. I have heard of a Thermomix but trully didn’t know all that it could accomplish. It is now on my wish list as any machine should be that wahses itself. This machine is before its time:DI also look forward to your French dishes!

  21. Happy Cook says:

    Wowo looks like you had such a good time there. And tha tmixer that is really new to me too.

  22. gajra says:

    Deeba u never cease to amaze!! really happy u got to attend this event but why oh why didn’t u try all the desserts? i would have gone bezerk but i’m thinking u have more self-control than i. the thermomix well i am GOBSMACKED!!! will vote– for u ofcourse!! wish u the best.

  23. Congrats and good luck! I’ve heard of thermomix and it’s on my wish-list too!

  24. What an array of desserts out there. Lovely read. Good to read about the fun activities you were involved in, Deebs. Best wishes.

  25. What a great privilege it is. Am sure you had a bash. Wishing you to win the Blog of the year title, you totally deserve it. Good luck Deeba.

  26. What an exciting event! I cant wait to participate to a similar event in Beirut at some point! and the Thermomix sounds like a very reasonable investment, especially for you!
    This new sugar also is interesting and I would love to try cooking with it.

  27. Lucky you Deeba that you got to attend the Le Cordon Bleu workshop and Lovely pics, I must say.

    ..and that Thermomix, mamamia…it is indeed a wonder-machine. thanks for mention. I will have it on my wishlist for sure.

    Happy Holidays,

    Siri

  28. This is absolutely awesome… The french pastry, the meet, the thermomix, the sugars and the bread…

    Have seen the thermomix on another chefs blog who uses it a lots as he needs to standardize his recipes for delivering the same dish with the same taste over and over again :)
    Would love to have this magical gadget in my kitchen…..

    Cheers,
    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts – Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

  29. Just voted for you….. it just has to be you n noone else :)

    Cheers,
    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts – Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

  30. Congrats on attending the pastry festival Deeba and your new header is simply gorgeous. love it.

  31. Just thought of informing you that we have again started the Arusuvai Friendship chain. You were a part of this last time if you are still interested in taking part please see this http://ahomemakersdiary.blogspot.com/2010/11/arusuvai-friendship-chain-another.html

  32. What an amazing experience! To see a whole table full of amazing pastry! To meet some renowned french chefs! I don’t think I could have stopped myself with just a couple of tastes. And yes, that machine makes my heart skip a beat. I love a powerhouse of a tool.

    You so deserve the Blog of the Year. I hope you get it, and I’m about to go cast my vote.

  33. Sounds like you did have quite a time. I’m so jealous I missed the feet. So glad you had the opportunity!

  34. Oh my. That looks like an incredible event. Congratulations on being selected. And the thermomix–I want one!

  35. Wowser, that’s a lot of fun :) happy French cooking and I’m looking forward to learning the techniques here :) Voted for you dear, good luck!

  36. Voted Deeba, best of all luck with that :) and what an experience. loved the way you have complied all the pictures and chef’s quotes really means a lot! Congrats for the proud certificate :)

  37. Just voted for you, you beat all other bakers hands down.

  38. Ahh you fell under the Thermomix spell! It does sound and look good although I have all of the other appliances already and they already cost a pretty penny. If only it were around years ago!

  39. Wow! I’m so glad to finally see the pics of this fabulous event and so glad you got to go. I hope that chef takes a look at your blog because he’ll be blown away by your talent!

    Am off to vote for you…

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