Michel Bastid, the newly appointed chef de cuisine at the Embassy of France in Washington, hardly had time to unpack his bags when he got his first taste of things to come: the annual Goût de France dinner held at French embassies around the world in early March to celebrate the country’s continued gastronomic edge in a fast food world.
With his two assistants (one of them British!) Bastid, set to work in the state-of-the-art basement kitchen at the residence to create a memorable menu for the 100 or so mostly American food critics and other guests, including the White House’s special adviser on nutrition. The multi-course feast offered seasonal vegetables with winter truffles and Bayonne ham crisps, slow cooked monkfish with fennel pollen flavors and Armoricane sauce, Ariane apple and Guanaja chocolate onctueux, Saint-Nectaire cheese and grilled bread, with nuts and raisins.
That’s the way it’s been ever since for the 35-year-old master chef (executive chef to the Americans) whose resume includes years at Regis Marcon’s three[...]