Nibbles And Sips Around Town: Tonight: Goût de/Good France! Chooses DC Chef Franck Loquet for Grand Gastronomic Dinner

Goût de/Good France! Chooses DC Chef Franck Loquet for Grand Gastronomic Dinner

The pretty new lobby at the Sofitel.
The pretty new lobby at the Sofitel.

Tonight – Thursday, March 19,  2015 – 1300 chefs from around the world will express their love of French cuisine by creating a specially designed one-time dining event.

Organized by noted French chef, Alain Ducasse, and the Ministry of Finance Affairs and International Development, the ‘French dinner’ will be held at iCi Urban Bistro in the beautifully renovated Art Deco era Sofitel Hotel, Washington, DC and presided over by the French General Consul Olivier Serot-Almeras.

iCi Urban Bistro Executive Chef Franck Loquet.
iCi Urban Bistro Executive Chef Franck Loquet.

Parisian-born Franck Loquet who presides over the kitchen of iCi Urban Bistro and who had once been an instructor at Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse, was chosen from thousands of chefs. He is the only chef in DC to be awarded this notable honor.

The parameters for the lavish seven-course menu were well defined. First, dinner must start with an aperitif. It should then continue with a cold starter, a hot starter, fish or shellfish, meat or poultry, and French cheese – – culminating with a chocolate dessert. Adding to these strict guidelines, the entire meal must be served with French wines and digestifs. The judges felt that the cuisine should be accessible to all – – from casual bistros to high-end restaurants.

For a true reflection of each region the committee required the meal to be based on seasonal and local products. Something we heartily endorse! Another rule of the competition was that the dinner be prepared with lower levels of fat, sugar, salt and protein, making it a fantastic challenge for any chef.

Here’s the menu Chef Loquet designed, and I sampled! All in the name of research, dear readers.

A basket of gougeres and assorted in house baked breads.
A basket of gougeres and assorted in house baked breads.

Apéritif – gougères served with Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne.

Branzino Tartare.
Branzino Tartare.

First – Branzino Tartare – with Vanilla, ginger and grapefruit pearls and radish salad.

Woodland Mushroom Tart.
Woodland Mushroom Tart.

Second – Woodland Mushroom Tart – topped with truffled goat cheese mousse.

Atlantic Salmon ‘Mi-Cuit’.
Atlantic Salmon ‘Mi-Cuit’.

Third – Atlantic Salmon “Mi-Cuit” – with English pea purée, baby Spring vegetable fricassee and leek coulis.

Herb Crusted Lamb Loin.
Herb Crusted Lamb Loin.

Fourth – Herb Crusted Lamb Loin – with sweet onion mousseline, grilled scallions, pickled pearl onions and olive jus.

Fifth – French cheeses with accouterments.

Cremeux Aux Trois Chocolats.
Cremeux Aux Trois Chocolats.

Dessert – Cremeux Aux Trois Chocolats – served with Le Cèdre Malbec 2011.

iCi Urban Bistro ilocated one block from the White House – at 806 15th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For reservations to this once-in-a-lifetime French culinary extravaganza, visit the Good France Eventbrite Page.

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Jordan Wright is an accomplished writer on food, spirits, travel, and theatre. Her clients include the tony Georgetowner and hip sister publication the Downtowner, the Washington Examiner and San Francisco Examiner, as well as LocalKicks.com, DC Metro Magazine, Washington Life Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, MDTheatreGuide.com, The Alexandria Times, Hartkeisonline.com, and now DCMetroTheaterArts. Her articles feature restaurant openings, food and wine events, food-oriented film reviews, farmer’s markets, food trends, restaurant reviews, food memories, new food products, hotels, spas, resorts and interviews with the country’s leading chefs – from Jose Andres and Top Chef’s Carla Hall, to CakeLove’s Warren Brown and Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn. She has also interviewed famed chef and TV star, Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, cookbook author Joan Nathan, and director Robert Kenner for an in-depth article about his film Food, Inc. Photographs by Wright accompany many of her articles and NBCNews.com has picked up and used several of her stories. Jordan Wright hails from three generations of show business. Her grandmother, Betty Morton, was a Ziegfield Follies girl; her step-grandmother Corinne Griffith, a noted author and silent screen star wrote Hail to the Redskins; her father, Georgie Price, an entertainer and founder of The Lamb’s Club in New York, as well as a CBS radio show host, songwriter and vaudevillian; her sister, Penny Larsen Vine, a theatre critic both on radio and in print for Variety, a former longtime member of the Outer Critics Circle, and a lead performer in countless national touring companies; one brother, Peter Price, appeared in leading roles in over 16 major motion pictures for MGM; while her other brother, Marshall Price performed at Carnegie Hall. Niece, Stephanie Vine, was the final Annie in the original production of Annie on Broadway, and niece, Liz Larsen, has received two Tony nominations and a Helen Hayes award for lead actress in Sunday in the Park with George. Wright sang with Columbia Records in New York and Barclay Records in France. In the sports world her grandfather was the original owner and founder of the Washington Redskins football team. Wright has traveled throughout four continents and currently resides in Old Town Alexandria.

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