December Food adventures in Strasbourg - a guest post from Janelle & Scott Gould - DistantFrancophile
Maison Kammerzell - Strasbourg - Restaurant review
My virtual friends, Janelle and Scott Gould from Melbourne, who run an interesting blog called DistantFrancophile were visiting Alsace recently and on their own accord went to explore one of the most ancient restaurants in France: Maison Kammerzell in Strasbourg, which has been operating since 1427 with further additions in 1467 and 1589, when three upper floors of timber panelling were added, resulting in the building we know today.
Their "signature dish" was invented 45 years ago by the Chef who is still running the show today, Guy-Pierre Baumann. He almost went to jail for what was looked at as a blasphemy on the traditional meat choucroute! So I won't steal the show and direct you to our Restaurant Review page where I have hosted their article! Bon appétit!
This iconic "Grand Magasin", was originally started by the Cognacq-Jay family from very humble beginnings as a street merchant on the Pont-Neuf in a space left vacant by the demolition of a water pump named La Samaritaine, hence the later name of the business which started as "Au Petit Bénéfice". This "little benefice" ended up allowing the couple to buy the shop they were renting, then expand it by building the Art Nouveau metal structure designed by the Belgian architect Frantz Jourdain that has become the trademark look of the building. When they tried to expand again towards the Seine, the council didn't allow them to show the metal structure on the riverside and had to clad the building in stone to look more "Haussmannien"!. As history often does, the same type of problems has plagued the project of expansion and reconstruction this time on the Rivoli side of the site, as the new wave glass facade designed by the Japanese architecture studio Sanaa (Kosuzo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa) has just been finally approved this week after a protracted legal battle that lasted 3 years, hence the timing of this articleT. he business has been closed since 2005 and we can now expect its reopening circa 2018 if everything goes according to plan with a budget of 500 million euros, deemed to be exceeded due to the scale and complexity of the project.
These two aerial photos show the extent of the renovation of the Art Nouveau buildings on the Seine side (bottom photo) and the entirely new building with the glass cladding on the Rue de Rivoli side. 74% of the existing facade will be conserved and restored, with the programming of the buildings completely rethought and designed to include offices, a child-care centre, 96 social housing apartments, a hotel on the river side, and a shopping mall on the lower levels. It is to be noted that the Cognacq-Jay family had a long history of philanthropy and social conscience, and were good Samaritans, maybe another clue to the business name... The project is privately financed by LVMH who bought the site in 2008 and is expected to create 4400 jobs during construction and a more permanent workforce of 2600 on completion. LVMH is a driving force on the Paris architectural renewal with this project, one of the biggest in Europe and also with the recently opened Fondation Louis Vuitton designed by Frank Gehry to much acclaim.
It is, in my opinion, the best building that Gehry has produced so far..
And to finish this article on a bit of humour, and to back-up the famous slogan that you can find anything at La Samaritaine, here is an old commercial that illustrates just that back in 1970. Love it!
We only have a few spots left on this tour and we are now calling the second deposit (50% if you are booking now, 45% if you have already paid your 5% deposit), which is due before the 27th of June. We will call the final payment on July 27th, but you can prepay now if you prefer.
SMH Pyrmont Growers Market - 04/10/2014
Being the launch of Good Food Month in Sydney, and the theme being the BBQ, it was no surprise to find a number of stall holders bringing their own barbie and recipes to feed the masses...
There were also a few newcomers as well as most of the regulars and the seasonals like Gilles Bonin with his fresh garlic. So here are a few photos to illustrate the event. Luckily the weather was clement!
Biota Dining and Cloudy Bay at the Everleigh Markets and a few others - 11/10/2014
Well, when I heard that James Viles would bring some his crew to cook a storm at the Everleigh Markets, I had to get up early and get myself there in a hurry! I was not disappointed as I had a chance to taste again his fabulous mandarin sorbet, with a twist this time: peach sorbet and jelly and cryogenic roses and a glass of Sauvignon blanc from Cloudy Bay NZ, way before 10.00am...
You can also read my review of the restaurant in Bowral here:
The life of a food blogger requires a stainless steel lined stomach and a galvanised liver!
A few people are returning regularly now like Oysters Unplugged and Pasta Emilia that I have not covered before. Music was provided in a better location than before by no other than cello master extraordinaire called Haydn (His mum was a piano teacher...). Again a few photos for your enjoyment!
Orange Grove Market - 11/10/2014
It is time to subscribe to our next newsletter which will contain French regional recipes of our best traditional winter warmer dishes. We will cook each of these recipes for you and document them in our next newsletter to be published on June 30th. We will explore six regions and their most famous and appropriate recipes. We will add six other regions and recipes to another newsletter to be published at the end of July!
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/ourfrenchimpressions and instagram and Pinterest at @ourfrenchimpressions! Bon appétit et à bientôt...
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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