Pierre Gagnaire and melt-in-your-mouth macaroons
Dubai; FooDiva’s first taste of the French culinary genius that is Pierre Gagnaire was five years ago at his London restaurant Sketch, when my date managed to secure us a table as walk-in guests. No he didn’t have ‘wasta’, but as an F&B (industry lingo for food & beverage) veteran, he knew very well that a restaurant always keeps a few tables aside for ‘unexpected’ diners. To this day, that evening or experience I should say – not just the exquisite food, but the excellent service and eclectic atmosphere – goes down as one of my most memorable dinners. The exact experience was to be repeated when Pierre opened his Dubai restaurant Reflets at Inter-Continental DFC three years ago. The chef himself was in town for the opening, and he charmed us all, my father included, with his gentlemanly manners, and inspirational food, naturellement. The man is French after all, but with no airs and graces of other celebrity chefs who would prefer not to be named and shamed.
Anyway, FooDiva is really digressing today, but I attended Pierre’s cooking demo last week at the Emirates Literature Festival (and yes, I bought a signed copy of his coffee-table recipe book, ‘Reinventing French cuisine’) where we tasted his chocolate and caramel macaroons. Now am not a huge fan of this macaroon mania – much prefer the cup cake craze – but oh my, friend and I couldn’t get enough of these melt-in-your-mouth concoctions.
So FooDiva had to share the recipe with you, thanks to the folks at Inter-Continental. Click here to start baking.
Pierre also turned out another six dishes in one hour, but bless his heart, we had no idea what he was cooking. The man is clearly a genius in the kitchen, producing what FooDiva describes as ‘a molecular take on traditional French cuisine’ – he’s just not cut out for public speaking in French or English. And his English has definitely improved since I last met him three years ago. But then again, he is a chef at heart and I’d rather he cooks up magical dishes, than regales us with self-promotion.
Pierre returns to cook at Reflets sometime in May or June – perhaps this time, date or no date, FooDiva should book in advance.
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. T: +971 4 701 1199. E: email@example.com
Photography courtesy of the lovely Melanie Hunt.