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CITY PALACE UDAIPUR HOSTS GOUT DE FRANCE

JASMEEN DUGAL  (click here to know more about this blogger)

In 1912, Auguste Escoffier started Les Dîners d'Épicure i.e. 'one day, one menu', served in cities around the world. In 2015, the first edition of Goût de France took the idea further, bringing all categories of restaurants together, globally. I was in luck that in '16 it coincided with 'World Living Heritage Festival' in Udaipur, and I was invited to a four-course meal prepared by Michelin-star chef Sébastian Sanjou, accompanied by French wines, at the historic City Palace. I'd like to mention something here. On arrival, I received a beautiful envelope with documents, in particular a beautiful personalised invitation to Goût de France, reflecting the spirit which is unique to Udaipur City Palace, in respect of royal traditions and protocols down the generations. The detailing, elegance and etiquette is true luxury and indicative of the enormity of effort by Vrinda Raje Singh, CEO, Joint Custodianship Initiative, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation into making it a success. 

 

The dinner, with a backdrop of the majestic palace, attended by Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Maharana Of Udaipur and H.E. François Richier, Ambassador of France to India was conceived by the French chef especially for this occasion. Checking out placements, I was thrilled to discover I was seated on the same table as Veronique Poles and some of the nicest people in Udaipur, Lucknow and Europe.. and the eve began with a flute of Brut Rose NV JP Marniquet paired with 'Ensemble Beetroot, Hazelnut Truffles and Ginger Mousse'. The result was a lightweight velvety dish with textured layers. It was sumptuous and paired well with the wine! There was much camaraderie and conversation with a background of classical music and then the second course was served — 'Textures Of Asparagus From Luberon' paired with a flute of Sylvaner Strubber PP. When the dish arrived I marvelled at the fragrance; the humble asparagus was elevated to a gourmet dish and melted in the mouth with each forkful; an inspired succession of flavors, textures and temperatures. The third course arrested our attention — and held it. 'Provence Green Lentils and Bouillon Mousse' paired with Chinnon Dessus Narcay 2012. 'What is Indian staple lentils doing in a French gourmet meal' was on everyone's mind, even as we requested for bread to sop up the velvety broth, and hesitantly asked for seconds! This dish made me appreciate what the French excel in: exquisitely delicious sauces. It was a culinary masterpiece.. one that drew me to wake up early and interview the young talented chef! But more on that later!! 

 

Our servers were on top of things and never intrusive and dinner wound up on a sinful note with 'Chocolate Surprise' paired with the most fabulous dessert wine — Coteaux Du Lenon Petit Val 2013. The chocolate ball enveloping creamy chocolate-coated strawberries was tres magnifique! And the wine? We just had to call for refills! My last thoughts as we left the magnificent City Palace at the stroke of midnight — after a standing ovation given to the chef by all diners present — was that it's a boon to get caught up in the pleasures of a fine table and a menu that takes us on a culinary tour of France. Bon appétit. (21.3.2016)
 

GOUT DE FRANCE
The historic City Palace Udaipur is a magnificient backdrop for the gourmet dinner!
 
GOUT DE FRANCE
His Excellency Ambassador of France in India, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar Maharana Of Udaipur and guests
 
GOUT DE FRANCE
Our table with Véronique Polès, Gourav Deb and many more relished the four-course French meal!
 
GOUT DE FRANCE
Ensemble Beetroot, Hazelnut Truffles and Ginger Mousse
 
GOUT DE FRANCE
Textures Of Asparagus From Luberon
 
GOUT DE FRANCE
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar Maharana Of Udaipur gave a standing ovation to French Michelin Star Chef Sébastian Sanjou
 
GOUT DE FRANCE
The menu of the star-truffled gourmet meal!
 
25-MARCH-2016
 
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