Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dining Out: Le Moulins de Mougins

Thursday night in France was to be our “big night out”. As I mentioned last Friday, it was the precursory celebration of Mr. and Mrs. G’s 16th Anniversary. P.O.D. and I joined the "G's" and Mr. G's cousin, Sophy, at a restaurant of note in a town called Mougins, not far from Cannes.

From the moment you walked in the door, you knew this place was going to provide an extraordinary dining experience. We sat in a kind of “garden room”, enclosed on all sides by glass allowing a virtually unimpeded view of the courtyard garden outside (photo below, in the daylight).
Autographs of notable personalities were scrawled on the glass the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor….all who had dined at 'Le Moulins de Mougins' on a previous occasion.

Tonight was our night to dine there and, although we were not asked to sign the glass, we did enjoy an amazing meal. Our table opted for the “Chef’s Tasting Menu”, which is a practice of being served several (I believe we had 11) small-portioned courses hand selected and prepared by the Chef. We were tended to by a graceful and fun wait staff, led by our head waiter, Diedre.

Not far into our courses, we learned of the notoriety of our chef, Sébastien Chambru. The staff sung his praises and the plates they brought to us were probably the singular best-tasting culinary pairings that I have ever had. French and Japanese fusion. My favorite? Escalope de foie gras de canard poêlee, pain perdu á la banana (Pan friend duck foie gras, French toast banana flavor).

This being "The Sweet Life", I thought I would highlight our sweets (desserts....and there were THREE....can it get much sweeter than that??) Below are some photos and descriptions:

Ananas bounty (Coconut, vanilla, pineapple combination and pineapple sorbet)

Feuille á feuille craquante au praliné, caramel glacé (Contemporary “mille feuille” of chocolate and hazelnuts, salted caramel ice cream….and you may not be able to see it in the photo, but there was a small gold leaf draped over the wafer/ice cream presentation ….beautiful….and, for, the record….the leaf had no real taste!)

Finally….NOT on the menu, but presented to our table as a gift from the staff, was this lovely glass of custard with a chocolate topping decorated with the restaurant logo. A very nice end to the perfect meal.

We left full and happy. It was a beautiful night and the company was wonderful.

Then, just this morning, I received an email from Sophy, who excitedly explained that she happened to catch a feature on television LAST night about the restaurant and its artful Chef, Sébastien Chambru. Here is her report:

He is exactly 32 years old and has worked in Japan where he especially worked on
choosing the products and associating them. He said that 50% of the work is done
in having good products. He brought a [uniqueness to the menu of] 'Le Moulins de
Mougins' with his young Japanese experience and his brand-new French and
Japanese association of food.

He [received] the 'MOF' graduation in 2007: “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (Best worker of France), issued from a competitive examination. There were only [seven] to be graduated in France in 2007, and only they are allowed to wear the French Flag around their neck when they are in the kitchen clothes. [You can see this red, white and blue French flag collar in the photo,below...from L to R: P.O.D., Mrs. G, Chef Sébastien Chambru, 1SweetMama, Mr. G, Diedre, Sophy]

'Le Moulin de Mougins' has two 'Macarons Michelin'
(or we can say also 'Etoiles Michelin'), Sébastien Chambru is trying to bring
the 3rd Macaron Michelin to the restaurant with his New French/Japanese Cuisine
[fusion-style menu selections].

We were the last to leave the restaurant…I think it was around midnight but everyone remaining at the restaurant was very gracious to us. If I am ever lucky enough to visit France again, I would love an encore at Le Moulins de Mougins, but….until then, you will find me on my treadmill.

If you would like to visit this restaurant, virtually, you can travel there via this website: http://www.moulindemougins.com/fr/index.php#index.php

Next Friday will be my last posting on my French adventure. Please join me as I wrap up this chapter of “The Sweet Life”.

Until next time, I remain….1SweetMama

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