MFWF – Langham Masterclass – Le Duo Dynamique

J’adore le cuisine  Francais – so when I was trying to make up my mind about what last session I would go to for my Masterclass weekend – it seemed a bit of a no brainer.  A little bit of French food and some French wine – what more could a girl want?  So, I hopped along to the Perfect Match: Le Duo Dynamique.

The program promised: Two of Victoria’s best-loved and most influential adopted French sons – chef Philippe Mouchel from PM 24 and Yarra Valley winemaker Dominique Portet – combine powerfully charming forces and delve into the delightful task of masterfully matching Gallic wine with French food with the perfect blend of Old and New World know-how and experience.

Phillipe Mouchel’s food is famous amongst fine dining Melburnians – having trained under the legendary French chef Paul Bocuse in Lyon, Phillipe went on to help open the all too short lived Paul Bocuse in Daimaru – a French fine diner the likes of which (I’m told) has not been replicated.  And Dominique Portet is no slouch either – I am a bit partial to his wine from the Yarra Valley.  So, I was keen to see what these lovely men would bring us.

I was in raptures when I saw that a vintage Dom Perignon was going to start proceedings . The waiters were very circumspect with their pouring, but once everyone had an even pour – they thankfully commenced coming around again. Happy days.  So, I take one sip…. then another sip… surely I will be overwhelmed in French heart flutterings very soon… surely…..  Alas… it will probably be very unpopular of me to say this – but I didn’t see what the fuss was about. I wasn’t crazy about the Dom!! Ooh la la!!  Qu’elle horreur!   Maybe I need to do more investigation… leave it with me folks….

The panel

The panel: Dominique Portet, Phillipe Mouchel & Ralph Kyte-Powell

The session was moderated by the very knowledgeable Ralph Kyte-Powell – but to be  honest, with 3 other masterclasses already under my belt for the day (not to mention lunch and tea breaks) – I don’t remember a lot about the wine!!  But the food was spectacular!

Dom Perignon & Ralph Kyte Powell

Ooooh la la – 2003 Vintage Dom Perignon, and moderator Ralph Kyte-Powell

Oysters 3 ways

Oyster served in spoon, lemongrass broth; Oyster served on the half shell, grapefruit foam, caviar; Oyster gelee, potato cream and leek

Served with the champagne, and two other sparkling wines – the oysters were magnificent.  The one interesting thing I did remember about the Dom Perignon was that apparently they don’t tell you whether or not it’s Pinot Noir or Chardonnay dominant.  The blend is of course a secret, but most champagne houses openly admit to leaning towards one varietal over another.   Not to worry – the mystery spurred us on.

Dominique Portet & Sancerre

Dominique Portet and one of the French white wines

2007 Chateau de Fieuzial – Graves

SEcond course

John Dory fillet, borlotti beans, shellfish ragout, sauce rouille

The next course was amazing – the John Dory was cooked to perfection, and the shellfish ragout and sauce roille just complemented it so beautifully. The borlotti beans were pureed sublimely and were so creamy.  A delicate and beautiful dish.

One of the french reds & Phillipe

A lovely French red, and a lovely French chef – Phillipe Mouchel

2006 Chateau Beychevelle – Medoc

BEef cheek

Filet, beef cheek, potato Boulangere, Dijonnaise, red wine and herbs jus

Finally, who can say no to beef cheek.  Oh my gosh – and Phillipe Mouchel knows how to cook a beef cheek. In fact, it’s one of my favourite dishes when I visit PM24 in Winter… which is just around the corner!  And I shouldn’t detract from the perfectly cooked filet which was also amazing.  This dish was served with some amazing Potato boulangere – similar to potato Dauphinoise, but made with stock instead of cream. Does that make it healthier?!! Just gorgeous. And of course, some very impressive reds. I have to admit – all of which were a little heavy for a pinot lover like myself!!  But great just the same!

The matched wine tasting was a brilliant way to end the day – and good foodie friend J and I sauntered off, replete after an amazing two days of foodie knowledge, inspiration and head swirling tastings.  Laden down with showbags and goodies… not to mention the cookbooks we succumbed to buying.  This was my first visit to the Langham Melbourne Masterclasses, but I suspect it won’t be my last!!

Here’s to 2014!!  8-9 March folks – it’s already in my diary.

Thanks to all my readers who have waded through the Masterclasses with me… from next week, we’ll be back to the regular posts.

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