Katherine Frelon is a wonderfully creative chef who spreads the joys of French food and wine across the UK and US. Katherine calls herself the ‘scatty chef’, but in reality she must be the complete opposite to juggle the incredible portfolio of culinary activities attached to her name. Not only does she run ‘home cookery’ sessions in the UK for which she imports the most delicious ingredients from Burgandy, she also does private catering for lucky clients in the US, UK and France AND runs an idyllic looking gourmet vacation home just a couple of hours from Paris, La Ferme de la Lochère. Superwoman or what?
I met her at her most recent home cookery session, ‘al fresco supper’ hosted at Food at 52. Katherine was warm, friendly and welcoming and her enthusiasm for her ingredients was totally infectious, even that which she showed for her comedic oversized home-grown veges! We cooked as if we were entertaining and after less than two hours on the bench we’d made the most impressive spread to the following menu.
Goat’s cheese mousse flavoured with truffle oil on a parmesan crisp
Warm foie gras on pain d’épices with onion confit
Home made ‘boudin blanc’ with baked apples in cognac
Duck breast gently smoked and served with a bouquet of young salad, watermelon chutney, rocket oil and miso dressing
Blue cheese and courgette quiche
Smoked salmon and goat’s cheese sunflower
Roasted chic pea salad with rosemary, moroccan spice mix, olive oil, garlic
Pan fried squashes with summer salads, cherry toms and other garden goodies with roasted garlic dressing
Green beans, wild rocket and blanched orange salad with orange dressing
My favourite part of the prep had to be making the smoked salmon sunflower. We put a mound of salmon that had been hot smoked in bourbon and maple (yes really, it was so good) into the centre of a square of puff pastry, then topped the salmon with creme freche, soft goats cheese, mozzarella, lemon zest and dill. We closed the tart with another square of puff pastry then to make it really special, shaped the corners of pastry around the mound into sunflower petals. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. The foie grois canape was also a delight to make as the accompanying onion confit included Christmassy spices like cloves and all-spice which filled the entire kitchen with warmth.The duck salad was an absolute treat thanks to the flavour and texture created from the smoking process. The watermelon and miso weren’t the accompaniments that any of us were expecting, but the earthiness and sweetness worked really well. All of the vegetable dishes were fresh, bright and colourful and almost healthy enough to counteract the mountain of French cheeses we consumed afterwards, the best being a strong and buttery l’ami de chambertin.
One class with Katherine reminded me exactly why I love French food and why I shouldn’t sit so close to the cheese plate (me and Rachel from thefoodieat were suffering from cheese coma’s for days) so I urge you to keep up to date with her movements in both London and Burgandy.
Thank you to Storm Communications for inviting me.