Manu Masterclass for Renault at Le Grand Cirque
Manu Feildel is a charasmatic French chef who is taking all before him on our TV screens and in bringing French style to our culinary landscape in Australia. The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed a vibrant session at Le Grand Cirque (breaking news: now closed) where Manu put on a masterclass in his role as Renault Ambassador and owner of Le Grand Cirque. Personally it was one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year.
Manu was charming, as we all know, but his engagement with the 20 media/bloggers present showed why he is a star performer. At times he showed a vulnerability and was 'on the level' with this foodie crowd.
Renault Australia impressed in chauffeuring us to the gig in their latest Clio cars. Each model has defining and colourful stylish features. Personally I love the "finish" on a Renault. I was fortunate to have a cool driver called Cal and a Clio GT Sport model.
Manu started off by serving us an Eggplant puree with toasts, as well as Alto marinated olives.
The masterclass was held in a private room at Le Grand Cirque, next to a packed restaurant...
Manu showed he is a technical chef and not just a TV star... Of course the French always love to cook with more butter..
Manu also cooked us Half shell Hervey Bay scallops w hazelnut butter. I love scallops served in the half shell.
Manu intrigued us in cooking up a classic tartare dish - the Beef Tartare w Jerusalem artichoke chips. The presentation of this dish was amazing.
Manu is always full of passion and inspired in his cooking tips and humour. He told us that behind Le Grand Cirque was his love of the circus, where chaos and excitement meet, just like a restaurant. His restaurant is making French cuisine accessible.
No one cooks mussels like the French. mussels, speck bacon, cider, cream. The sauce was rich but not overpowering and we loved the influence of the cider for a fresh "lift" of flavour.
Manu not only cooked for us but also personally signed a copy of his latest book for all to take away and get cracking on French cooking...
The World Loves Melbourne loves a good croquette, especially when they are super creamy inside and have a nuance of smoky flavours. The Smoked ham hock, Gruyere cheese croquettes were a hit with the group. Rustic.
A hip highlight was the Little burger of pig's trotter patties, and sauce gribiche. Yes they were rich but you wanted more...
Now in rustic overdrive, we were served this delightful creamy Pearl barley & wild mushroom risotto. Earthy, creamy and depth of flavour - then taken to another level with truffles...
Manu also loves his desserts and we imbibed a trio of classic French desserts. I loved the brulee, including its colour and presentation.
Thanks to Renault Australia, Soda Communications and Manu for an unforgettable evening!