Chef Greg Marchand Impresses at NYCWFF Frenchie Dinner

Chef Greg Marchand Impresses at NYCWFF Frenchie Dinner
Chef Gregory Marchand
Aurelie Jouan

Gregory Marchand at the New York City Wine and Food Festival.

Last Thursday, Arabelle Restaurant in the Hôtel Plaza Athénée on the Upper East Side was the site of one of the most anticipated 2014 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival’s dinner events, called “Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking hosted by Gregory Marchand.” It was a chance for a lucky few New Yorkers to get a taste of the food being served at Marchand’s acclaimed 24-seat Paris bistro, Frenchie.

Click here to see more photos of the Frenchie Dinner

Chef Marchand, also known as “Frenchie,” a nickname given to him by famed celebrity chef Jamie Oliver when they were working together at restaurant Fifteen on Old Street, London, offered guests some stellar examples of his classic French cooking. His three-course menu profiled a re-invented bistrot cuisine influenced by Greg Marchand’s travels around the world.

Credit: Aurélie Jouan

As it would at any festive evening in France, Champagne popped in the Bar Seine lounge, served with delicious amuse-bouches such as gougères, a specialty from Burgundy. Fourth-generation Champagne producer Jean Rémy Rapeneau, owner of Château de Bligny Champagne, recounted in this intimate atmosphere the fruits of the hard work that helped to create this amazing apéritif.

Guests shared tables in a small and unique dining room laid out in elegant décor with gold-domed and Murano glass and brass chandeliers. As guests waited for chef Marchand’s first entrée, sommelier Paul Chevalier kicked things off by explaining the night's paired wines.

The first course was a delicious “foie gras pressé” with figs, seasonal mushrooms, and edible flowers. The dish was paired with Sangue d'Oro Passito di Pantelleria 2009, an elegant and delicate wine not unlike its namesake, none other than French Chanel No. 5 icon and actress Carole Bouquet.

The second course was a “crispy red mullet” served with a chilled Provence rosé. This dish appeared like a treasure brought back from the ocean. The beautiful foam bisque complemented the clams ideally. The delightful small portions of high-end French food suited the surroundings perfectly.

Credit: Aurélie Jouan

On a trip inside the kitchen between courses, Marchand could be seen putting final touches each and every plate of the many he had already served that night, paying keen attention to the details of what he was serving. Asked briefly about his stay in the city, the ex-New Yorker noted that he visits the city once or twice a year for food festivals, and “really enjoyed going to Marta, Nick Anderer’s new restaurant in the Martha Washington Hotel” for the Roman-inspired pizza being served there.

Back in the calm of the dining room, the next course was being served. The chef surprised his guests by preparing a “wood pigeon,” with its tender flesh and sophisticated taste, paired with a fantastic tempranillo from Rioja (Marques de Riscal Gran Reserva 2005).

Credit: Aurélie Jouan

The grand finale was a plum upside-down cake that was reminiscent of a traditional holiday cake but with a modern and glamorous twist thanks to a dusting of pink confectioner's sugar. Marchand’s dessert was served with carménère, a red wine from Chile; the grape variety was originally planted in the Bordeaux's Médoc region, but is now rarely found in France.

The night ended with Greg Marchand greeting everyone at the tables, leaving them with a great memory of the evening and a complimentary copy of his cookbook “Frenchie: New Bistro Cooking” to take home. This amazing experience certainly inspired many guests to jump on a plane headed for Paris to try a meal at Frenchie.


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