On Friday we served up a four course French menu to more than 700 cycling enthusiasts as part of The French- Australia Chamber of Commerce & Industry Tour de France lunch. It’s the first year the annual lunch has been held at MCEC and the first year renowned French chef Philippe Mouchel has handed over the menu creation reins to MCEC’s chefs.
It was great to have Philippe offer me the lead on developing this menu. And regardless of the menu being solely French cuisine, it was an opportunity to showcase our commitment to using seasonal Victorian produce. Heading up new Melbourne French modern bistro PM24, Philippe’s approach is one not unlike ours; local and ethically sourced ingredients reflected throughout his contemporary menus.
Friday’s menu was inspired by the regions the Tour de France passes through, offering traditional French dishes and desserts, and accompanied by a selection of specialty French fromages and wines.
Guests started with a selection of homemade pâtés, terrine and rillette, a platter of fresh seafood – oysters, shrimps and clams – followed by the main dish beef bourgionion (short rib of beef from Gippsland) and miniature desserts including homemade framboise (raspberry) sorbet and tartelette au chocolat noir.
Philippe visited our kitchen a month back for the final menu tasting and he was really happy with how we’d recreated traditional French dishes and even one of his own, the terrine de campagne on the charcuterie platter.
“I had absolute confidence in MCEC chefs taking the lead on developing this menu knowing they would represent the dishes of France well and when I visited their kitchen for the menu tasting, I was very pleased.”
This lunch really showcased just what our chefs and kitchen team can do, as well as highlighting some of Victoria’s best produce in a variety of French dishes.
Hosted by TV personality and French chef Gabriel Gaté, the lunch also featured a panel discussion and commentary on the race with former Olympic champion Nicholas Green, sports media expert David Culbert and SBS sports journalist Sophie Smith.
Congratulations to Australia’s Cadel Evans on his Tour de France win!
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