I go to many PR events: this dinner was one of the best, most creative and just pure fun. Hosted by @thecheeseexplorer Emma Young and organised by the French dairy board CNIEL (they do love an acronym in France).
I think occasionally everyone needs a reminder as to the brilliance of French food, ingredients and gastronomy.
The event was held at a venue which as a Londoner I’d never heard of before–the O’Meara Theatre– near London Bridge. The dinner took place in front of a Kit-Kat Club Cabaret style small stage, with immersive theatre actors playing various French cheeses such as Beaufort, Neufchatel, Saint-Nectaire, Brillat-Savarin, Bleu D’Auvergne and Epoisses. I flirted all night with Beaufort, all dimples, nose-ring and lederhosen (who knew that was my type?). When it was his turn to take to the stage, I found myself yelling ‘Beau fesses’ (beautiful arse cheeks). I wasn’t even drinking. Actually it should have been ‘belles fesses’.
Epoisses croquette with cauliflower purée
Delicious crunchy fried croquettes with melting cheese inside.
Twice-baked Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage soufflé
I prefer a once baked soufflé but for feeding so many people, twice-baked is easier to manage and was in this case, beautifully cooked. Paired with a pale ale.
Neufchatel bitter leaves and apple salad
This came with candied almonds and small chunks of the heart-shaped cheese Neufchatel. Paired with a Brut cider. This is often found in a heart shape that makes it a great Valentines cheese.
Saint-Nectaire, wild mushroom and truffle macaroni
Can’t go wrong with mac and cheese. I love this washed rind cheese.
Brillat-Savarin, strawberry and basil cheesecake
(This is my favourite cheese, even though it’s industrialised, and the cheesecake had an interesting savoury note).
Bleu d’Auvergne, poppy seed cracker and chutney
This was perfectly paired with a Sauternes sweet wine Chateau Delmont. I’d love the recipe for the poppy crackers.
I’ll be creating some recipes with these cheeses, as it’s coming up to melty cheese season.