Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Omnivore Food Festival 5 - OFF5 - Deauville 2010

Bande annonce Omnivore Deauville 2010 from Dimitri MAJ on Vimeo.

I just got back from the 5th annual Omnivore Food Festival held in Deauville, France. It was a packed program again this year - full of interesting and creative chefs de cuisine and several exhibitors, including cider/calvados producers from the Normandy region, french wineries & other food-related vendors. One thing that was very different this year, however, was the newly added program for pastry chefs that ran simultaneous to the program for the chefs de cuisine. This required another MC, Julie Andrieu who accompanied the extremely talented MC from prior years, Sebastian Demorand.

I wake up this morning feeling tired from the past couple of days, filled with travel, good food, good company, and of course, the rich OFF program itself. I love this kind of tired - it puts me in a reflective mood. So, what am I thinking? Here's a brief synopsis:
  • I'm very glad I went to OFF5 and I continue to highly recommend it (but only if you have a good understanding of french). It provides a perspective of food trends and cooking approaches, old and new. Above all else, I still find it interesting to discover what inspires other chefs, to gain a small insight into their philosophies, and to see and hear them first hand. All of the chefs approach the stage differently, express themselves differently, and I see these differences reflected in their recipes & plates.

  • All in all, I saw more simplicity than avant-garde or molecular gastronomy this year, although there was a little of that. More present than that, it seems to me, was the human approach and making things "lisable" (easy to read), a theme that continued from last year's event. I didn't see any langoustines, lobsters, or truffles. There were lots of vegetables....and quite a few oysters. I'm not sure what the oysters may mean, but as for the rest, does this have anything to do with needing to comfort us during the past year of financial crisis? Well, who knows, but that thought floats around my mind a bit.

  • There was a nice mixture of "extoverts" and "introverts" up on stage. Spanish chef Quique Dacosta & French chef Paul Pairet (now in Shanghai) demonstrated the most flare... Gregory Marchand, Sylvain Sendra, David Kinch, and of course Alain Passard demonstrated a quieter approach that was equally intriguing. As I said, a nice mix.

  • Simple things, simply done well. For me, this sums up the the 2010 OFF event in terms of food trends.

  • What I was inspired by: Chef Gregory Marchand's egg yolk ravioli (I will try this), Chef Alain Passard's vegetables, MOF pastry chef of Maison Pic Philippe Ribollot, Chef David Kinch for his extremely intelligent & creative approach to cooking, Chef Alexandre Gaultier for his inventiveness & playfullness, Chef Regis Marcon for his optimism and generous heart. Well, there were lots of other inspirations...too many to relate in a short message here. Take a look at the pictures instead.
Sebastian Demorand (MC extrodinaire) with Chef Gregory Marchand of Frenchie

Roasted yellow beet with coriander grains - Gregory Marchand

Café Confidences - Chef Régis Marcon

Julie Andrieu with Chef Jean Sulpice

Poached quail eggs, apple juice gelée, beets, asparagus - Jean Sulpice

Chef Sylvain Sendra - Restaurant Itinéraires

Pastry Chef Tal Hausen (former Ferrandi student)

Chef Jean-Francois Rouquette - Restaurant Pur'

Chef Arnaud Daguin's roasted vegetables

Chef Alexandre Gauthier - Restaurant La Grenouillere

Gauthier's dish called "The Old Stalk"! (Yes, the broccoli florets have all been removed). Love the inventiveness & playfulness. If only I could get away with putting that on my menu!

Chef David Kinch - Restaurant Manresa (California)

David Kinch's vegetable medley....not sure of the name of this dish

Chef Alain Passard (middle) with his gardener (right)

Passard's beet

This was my third consecutive time going. Click here for my notes from last year if you would like to get a sense about how this conference is run & to see my favorites from last year. Can't wait for 2011!



Guillemette said...

Lucky you! I hope I can make it next year...
See you soon!

Girl Cook in Paris said...

I hope so, too. You would LOVE it!

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