Le Best of Paris held its first “Unconventional Paris” Dinner Series at La Régalade Saint-Honoré, with Chef Bruno Doucet, who gave us a tour of his kitchen and shared his passion for cuisine with a special six-course menu that featured some of his best dishes to share with our lucky Le Best of Paris fans. Chef Doucet, who worked his magic in his small kitchen, prepared every dish to ensure they were executed with perfection, not only for us, but for each diner in his restaurant. Our “Unconventional Paris” Dinner Series was conceived with the idea of not just getting together at a great restaurant, but to experience more, with a special menu designed by the chef and the opportunity to meet one of Paris’ outstanding chefs in his own kitchen.
Chef Doucet would clap his hands each time he plated a dish, and his friendly wait staff would swiftly come by in this to pick up and serve the dish in just a few seconds from plating. The restaurant itself is small but comfortable, with no more than 40 seats, which enables Chef Doucet and his small staff to focus on quality each time, not quantity of dishes for the masses.
He chose a special menu for us for the evening. We were first served a chilled bottle of Billecart-Salmon champagne to toast the evening, and then started with paté du canard, with a side of cornichons, but he also added some excellent Iberia jambon, served on wooden cutting boards. The next two entrées included a perfect foie gras, with a little dabble of a port reduction sauce, and then gambas (large shrimp) on white and green asparagus. For our two plats, we first had a seared St. Pierre fish fresh from Biarritz, with tomato and fresh calamari. Next came a lovely, organic volaille with girolles (Chef Doucet told us he loves mushrooms when in season, including girolles, cepes and morilles) and a pomme purée. For dessert, we delved into green, tart rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, and fresh cream. And, to top things off, we were served a chocolate tarte with a crisp, crunchy layer and a side of velvety mousse au chocolat.
At the end of the meal, we had a Bas-Armagnac for the final toast and then met Chef Doucet in his kitchen, as he and his staff were finishing the evening, shining their copper pots and preparing for the weekend. Doucet told us that he started working in the kitchen when he was 15, which is a little older than some other chefs, and then worked with a number of great masters, including Pierre Gagnaire, before breaking out on his own. He works hard in the kitchen, literally plating or watching over each dish that is served. He loves game, fresh seafood, and la viande, focusing on seasonal specialties to ensure his customers only get the very best and freshest ingredients.
Chef Doucet is clearly generous, taking the time to talk to us after a long day, and his generosity shows in each dish he serves — the servings are plentiful, but beautifully constructed. We were fortunate that Chef Doucet shared his passion with us and delivered an unforgettable evening for our first and highly successful “Unconventional Paris” Dinner.
Look for our next event soon!