A Parisian Picnic
Summertime in Melbourne is the perfect opportunity to shake out the picnic rug, find the basket and head to one of the many beautiful gardens our city has to offer. By the end of January I’m usually all beached-out and looking for a change of scene from the scorching sand and fleshy sights of the Mornington Peninsula. Still firmly in holiday mode, an effortless spread is essential for a relaxing picnic. Who better to ask for picnic specialities than our very own Fabien Michel, after all, you can’t go past the French when it comes to picnic-chic.
Fabien’s creations have become very popular with our customers this year. The Pate en Croute being a favourite. Fab says that a French picnic would not be the same without an array of charcuterie, things that are easily shared and the Pate en Croute is just that, with it’s pastry casing making it easy to pinch a slice from the plate.
Terrine and Pate are staples on the French picnic rug, Fab confirms this as he tells me of his days in Paris where his friends would all meet in a small park just inside the Fifth Arrondissement all bringing one or two items they had sourced along their way from their local markets. Fab was usually in charge of terrine as he is very fussy and would insist on certain ingredients to enrich the flavours. A duck terrine was usually his offering at these Parisian picnics though occasionally he would surprise his friends with a something seasonal his butcher’s charcuterie had made as a once off delight. Fab is going on a tangent now, telling me about the time when his chain fell off his bike. I swiftly remind him that we need to keep focussed on the food at the picnic rather than his transport to and from…
Fab begins listing numerous items that could be found in his picnic basket – pork rillettes, foie gras, the obligatory French baguette, and if they could be bothered lighting a disposable barbeque they would enjoy some grilled snails. Along with a lovely glass of something bubbly - usually champagne, and some beautiful sweet treats to leave everyone satisfied. Oh how French!
Fabien, hailing from Grenoble, at the foot of the French Alps, has been crafting a number of his beautiful products while working with us; all of which are available in our David Jones Deli as well as a small supply at our Toorak store. Each item will enhance your picnic spread and will make pleasing your friends and family a breeze.
Very kindly, Fab has offered us his recipe for Madeleines as this one of his favourites at a picnic. The reason why? They are not rich so no matter how full your stomach may be, you can always fit in one Madeleine.
Set the oven to 200c. Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add all other ingredients and fold everything together. Let the mixture sit for 5 mins then spoon into madeleine trays and cook for 9 minutes.