Gravlax trout, Sologne lamb, fondant pithiviers… On the Loiret Signature Menu table

The apprentice chefs had stars… in their eyes. Forty young cooks from the four Loiret hotel schools (CFA of the Loiret Chamber of Trades and Crafts in Orléans, the Jean de la Taille high school in Pithiviers, the Saint-Louis school in Montargis and the Orléanais d’Olivet) have prepared a menu made up of 100% local products. After three months of training, the best starter, main course and dessert were chosen by a jury made up of chefs and guests, at the Halle de Chamerolles, this Friday, May 20.

Highlighting local producers

A life-size challenge, which put the young students in condition and proved the richness of the Loiret. “There is diversity in this department. We have the Pithiviers salted, world famous, but this competition also allows to highlight other local producers and to find a reference menu“, says the starred chef Marie Gricourt, godmother of the operation, delighted to note the presence of many young women among the participants.

Seated at high tables, the public invited for the occasion was able to enjoy and judge the individual portions carefully prepared by the students, galvanized by the advice of the chefs present and their trainers.

In front of them, the table of the final jury was made up of renowned cooks and representatives of the Department and the Union of Trades and Industries of the Hôtellerie du Loiret. Four hours of preparation, attention to detail and even a power outage complicated the task.

Before the designation of the Loiret Signature Menu, Marc Gaudet talks about this unprecedented initiative

A power outage that complicates the task

“The fumes set off the fire alarm. That put us a little bit of pressure but we managed pretty well“, laughs Victorien, one of the apprentice cooks of the hotel school of Orleans.

Anaïs, from the Saint-Louis school, speaks, “of an event that required a lot of organization“. At the table, the dishes parade thanks to the responsiveness of apprentice servers, out of competition.

Among the jury, readers of La Rep’ are there. Coming from Saran, Jack and Marie-Joseph, 76 and 77, are attached to local products. “We like good food and we like to keep the local economy running“, say the two guests, who shared our table.

Carefully prepared individual portions

The tasting begins with an individual bite of trout gravlax style. Jack hardly appreciates the goat cheese mousse that accompanies it. The second starter is a crispy snail fed with a small spelled crémant.

“A good risk-taking”, we judge. Then it’s time for the delicious main courses. Ballottine of poultry with Swiss chard, crispy lamb, ostrich tataki and saddle of lamb from Sologne… There is something for everyone, but aesthetically, it is difficult to give a winning dish.

At our table, we use echoes of the palace of Jean-Louis Jama. On the dessert side, the former president of the Umih 45 will find that the melting pithiviers with lime and strawberries “has a perfectly digestible acidity thanks to the hint of lemon“.

The chef was right: it is the dessert that appears in the Loiret signature menu chosen by the jurors against the other sweet delicacy, the sour sweetness of Loiret, decorated with rhubarb and strawberries.

Loiret Signature Menu. Starter: gravlax-style trout, beet and vodka pesto, pickled vegetables and saffron blinis with goat cheese mousse (Saint-Louis de Montargis school). Dish: saddle of lamb from Sologne, revisited peas and carrots (Orléanais d’Olivet hotel school). Dessert: Pithiviers fondant with lime, fresh strawberry jelly and salad, goat cheese cheese ice cream (Orléanais hotel school).

The Signature Menu has been unveiled. If the public was able to vote online, a jury made up of 70 guests was called upon to make a choice. Among them, we found Marie Gricourt, starred chef and godmother of the operation, Catherine Delacoute, chef of Lancelot, Emmanuelle Jary, culinary journalist and readers of La Rep’. The votes focused separately on starters, main courses and desserts. The chefs’ jury counted for 50% of the final score, the guest jury’s vote for 30% and the Loiretans’ vote, online, 20%.

Nicolas Bonton


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