This time the 80 guests who were invited to the D-Day 70th anniversary celebration luncheon on Friday June 6th really had time to “work on their food”. A change from the 65th celebration in 2009 where the lunch lasted only 12 minutes! At the end of the lunch, our President Barack Obama complimented our chefs by saying: “tres magnifique”.
Now more details
© Juin 2011, François Levalet
The Château of Bénouville was choosen as it was a hearth of resistance in the region during WW II. At that time the castle was transformed into a maternity hospital.
Who was invited?
The plan de table, a sensitive issue
A total of 80 guests were invited at the 70th D-Day celebration lunch. 38 guests were seated at the honor table. Guests included royalty, 18 Heads of State and Government officials. As per the seating chart, bringing at the same table Barack Obama, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko was a sensitive issue, in the Ukrainian crisis.
The remaining 42 guests including 14 veterans were seated in a VIP lounge.
The 5 Michelin-starred Normandy’s Chefs
From left to right: Michel Bruneau, Anthony Caillot, Stéphane Carbone, Ivan Vautier, Joël Rapp
- Michel Bruneau (former chef at La Bourride in Caen, 2 Michelin stars)
- Anthony Caillot (À Contre Sens in Caen, 1 Michelin star)
- Stéphane Carbone (L’Incognito in Caen, 1 Michelin star)
- Ivan Vautier (Le IV in Caen, 1 Michelin star) –
- Joël Rapp, chef de cuisine for the prefecture.
A total of 14 people worked in the kitchen and around sixty served the 80 guests.
On the menu, a full taste of Normandy of course!
The 5 chefs have been rehearsing for months to make sure that the gastronomic excellence of France would be well represented with a menu 100% made from Normandy’s terroir. The result in the pictures below.
To whet the appetite, canapés please and champagne!
The executive chef from Élysée Palace Guillaume Gomez requested a bite size format. The chefs created canapés, these small open-faced sandwiches with lobster, Vire andouille sausage, carrots of Créances (grown in the sandy soil of lower Normandie, near the town of Cotentin), asparagus from Cagny, ham from the Manche region, smoked sea bass caught at Port-en-Bessin in the Calvados.
For the appetizer, Ivan Vautier created a land and sea mix
© France 3 Basse-Normandie Le premier plat des chefs d’Etat : le Saint pierre en feuilleté de pommes, jus frais et cubes de crème Normande
A John Dory fish (Saint-Pierre) boat placed above a little apple mille feuille with a fresh green apple coulis, and cubes made from crème fraiche, just like if they were meant to be rolled like dices, and on top a chips made of the red cheese mimolette made in Isigny. The little marbles shape apples looked like gold pearls and were dispersed all around. Crunchy, fluffy and tender.
For the main course, a young veal knuckle cooked at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 36 hours
© France 3 Basse-Normandie Fondant de veau , jus truffé au pommeau , panier de légumes de nos jardiniers
Anthony Caillot came up with the idea and added a little zucchini filed with little veggies (carrots, turnip, leeks, small potatoes). Next to it, is an oval shape mushroom quenelle with a sauce that has been reduced, using 10 liters of Pommeau, the alcoholic drink made by mixing apple juice with apple brandy Calvados. For the finish, some truffles… Queen Elizabeth requested that Foie Gras was on the menu, which is interesting as her son Prince Charles is a prime crusader against the force-feeding of geese. No worries: she was served the delicacy at the state dinner given on the same day at Elysée Presidential palace.
No meal in Normandy is served without a cheese platter!
© France 3 Basse-Normandie Left : Livarot. Top: Neufchatel. Right: Pont-L’Evêque. Bottom: Camembert.
On the tasting plate, four beloved and (stinky) cheeses: Pont-l’Évêque, Camembert, Livarot and Neufchâtel cheese, all non-pasteurized and all appellation d’origine contrôlée [ah-pehl-lah-SYAWN daw-ree-JEEN kawn-traw-LAY], a guarantee of tradition and quality.
Dessert – How sweet is that!
© France 3 Basse-Normandie Dessert de Bénouville : Délice aux poires de pays, chocolat, coulis crémeux d’isigny.
Stéphane Carbone crafted this delicious dessert. A small salted butter cookie covered with a layer of light creamy caramel mousse, and topped with little conference pears balls (“la Conférence” is the actual name of the type of pears used… a coincidence?). Not to forget the sugar bracelet that captures a scoop of ice cream and the delicate chocolate frame. Yummy!
Other artisans were put to work to present the best of what Normandy has to offer: creations from chocolatier Michel Cluizel, carapomme, a chocolate filed with apple mousse and chocolate ganache, macarons made by Alban Guilmet (chocolatier patissier) chocolate with the letter D on one side and on the other the French tricolor flag, min warm apple tarts tatin made by Claude Delesque (Maison Stiffler patissery), a bread made with cider yeast by Olivier Hamelin (Fournil de Mathilde bakery). Yvan Vautier made his famous camembert cheese macarons too.
What about the wine pairing?
Champagne Pommery, cuvée Louise 2002
Élysée Palace’s talented head sommelier, Virginie Routis chose the wines and did (could) not go wrong:
Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru 2009 from Joseph Drouhin
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1998
Normandy has a vineyard, Arpents du Soleil in Grisilly in south east of Caen. To discover next time.
And of course Calvados for which Normandy is so famous.
Our presidents together for the 70th D-day Celebration on Friday June 6th , 2014.