Pièce de résistance – The Cuisine of Executive Chef, Sébastien Rondier

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Sébastien Rondier, is the Executive Chef of Adour at the St. Regis, located in Washington DC.

 

Adour - Easter
Adour – Easter

 

St. Regis
St. Regis

 

Adour
Adour

As I reminisce over the sublime gastronomic experience of this past Easter, I’m still in shock and somewhat mystified by the brilliant cuisine I experienced without heading to France.  Chef Sebastien Rondier of Adour unlocked a “Pandora’s Box” of culinary magic.  I’m forever enchanted by and grateful for this experience.  The posting for this encounter is one of gratitude, reverence and a promise of lifetime support, acknowledged in my “Thank You” note to Chef Rondier below.

With Chef Rondier
With Chef Rondier

Dear Sébastien:

I thank you for giving us the opportunity to partake in your passion for creative, yet classical culinary artistry.  Your insight and ability to make your dishes sing with passion and dance on the palate with grace, finesse and firmness are indeed a tribute to you and your dedication to perfecting fine cuisine.  When I mentioned my hedonistic lust for escargot and cuisse de grenouille, I remember your laugh and promise that one day you’d make a dish I could only dream of – – you surpassed my dreams and created new ones.  Marissa forewarned us of being transported and blown away by the menu and we were. This gastronomic journey has been deemed “other” for the simple fact that I’ve had no “other” experience quite like the one you created.

 

First Course: Provence” White Asparagus Veloute with Chorizo, crunchy garnish, Sweetbread

Sweetbreads with Veloute
Sweetbreads with Veloute

 

Sweetbreads with Veloute
Sweetbreads with Veloute

 

MEURSAULT Lafarge 2009
MEURSAULT Lafarge 2009

Paired with the Lafarge 2010 Meursault the delicate flavors and textures from the sweetbread, asparagus and chilled veloute were a seamless and joyous start.  When this dish arrived and I saw sweetbreads, I nearly leaped out of my seat.  How on earth could you have known.  This is a dish one either loves or hate and I definitely love sweetbreads.  The contrasting chilled veloute, with the warm sweetbreads, was superb.  As I continued to enjoy the lingering wonderful flavors still enveloping my palate, the slightly chilled Meursault slowly prepared my palate for the object of my hedonistic lust – – escargot & cuisse de grenouille.

 

Second Course: Escargot, Cuisse de Grenouille and Risotto with pesto, fried prosciutto, Bordelaise sauce

Escargot, Cuisse de grenouille with Risotto
Escargot, Cuisse de grenouille with Risotto

This dish alone has proven the impossible is possible.  Staring with the classic Bordelaise sauce enclosing the perfect al dente risotto upon which a divine ensemble of pesto, escargot and cuisse de grenouille topped off with crispy prosciutto rests, I tasted nirvana. The ensemble was complex and balanced, offering a never ending experience of layered flavors.  I thank you for sourcing the escargot from France.  The earthiness they held exploded with the Meursault.  The succulent cuisse de grenouille were tender, fresh and full of flavor.  You created the ideal balance in which each individual element worked together as well as independently.  I took it upon myself to indulge with a little Beaune 1er cru and what a pleasant surprise this pairing offered.

2005 Beaune 1er Cru
2005 Beaune 1er Cru Les Bressandes – Domaine des Croix

 

Third Course:Atlantic braised Halibut with green spring vegetable, morels and whipped cream

 

Fish
Halibut with spring vegetable, morels, whipped cream and clams

Back to the Meursault as another amazing dish delighted us. The Halibut was cooked perfectly.  The spring beans, morels and clams added textures and flavors that appropriately announced the arrival of spring.  The whipped cream, being more of a glaze than a sauce was the perfect addition to this dish.  All the delicate flavors remained intact while creating a wonderful ensemble.

 

Fourth Course: Cast Iron Easter Baby Lamb with Amish vegetables gratin, natural jus

 

Lamb
Cast Iron Easter Baby Lamb with Amish vegetables gratin, natural jus

I’m now beginning to wonder how many entrées I can consume in one setting.  With the arrival of the lamb dish, which was seasoned perfectly, I knew one more was possible.  The earthy, deep violet and lilac fragrance with velvet tannins from the ’05 Chateau de Chevalier Lascombes Margaux created a wonderful exchange with the lamb’s natural flavors. Surprisingly, the Bordeaux added a little something extra to the roasted vegetables sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

 

The Cheese Course: Black Truffle Brie with country bread

Truffle Brie Cheese
Truffle Brie Cheese

Just when this sublime gastronomic feast had reached it’s peak, out came this heavenly triple cream brie cheese with several layers of truffles. Triple cream brie and truffles – – other than “MORE PLEASE!!!” what can one say.  BEST Cheese EVER!!!!

 

Dessert:

A special thank you to Pastry Chef – Fabrice Bendano.  Dessert was the perfect ending to a perfect feast.

Raspberry Dessert
Classic Raspberry/Pistachio Vacherin

 

DESSERT CHOCOLATE
Milk Chocolate Nest – Hazelnut, Milk/Sea salt Ice cream

 

Dessert
Dessert

 

Chef
Chef Sébastien Rondier

Sébastien, this was a wonderful start to spring.  Thank you for creating a menu that shall forever be a benchmark in fine dining.  This entire experience gives Pièce de résistance its meaning.

Forever Grateful,

Terrance

 

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