Maille Mustard Experience with Claude Bosi
Claude Bosi is a pretty special guy. If you ask your average foodie in the street they may well scratch their head and try to bluff a bit. He’s not Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver after all. He is however, this year’s ‘chef’s chef of the year’ in the St Pellegrino World’s top 50 restaurant awards, and his restaurant, Hibiscus is also up there, along with just a handful of other UK restaurants. So, the chance to have a cooking demonstration from him was really unique.
The Maille mustard shop is a pop-up venture in Spitalfields Market, there for just a few days to introduce the Brits to some of the fineries of French mustard. And I feel genuinely privileged to have experienced the cookery demonstration.
We started with a crab and mango salad, using green mango filled with a light crab mixture and dressed with a honey mustard based dressing and a range of sea vegetables and flowers. I know I should have made notes of exactly what we were eating, but, I was far too busy tasting! We’ve been promised the recipe on the Maille site…and I will certainly be watching! Maille mustards and vinegars are rather more subtle than their UK counterpart and make fabulous dressings for salads.
Then we were shown how to make an experimental dish, a soufflé made with a base of eggs, sugar and cherry vinegar and then filled with mustard ice-cream. It was light, piquant and sweet, the vinegar and mustard drawing out the flavour of the strawberries perfectly.
For me, the joy of this particular event was less to do with the fabulous dishes that we tasted and more to do with watching Claude Bosi and his assistant at work. He had come back from holiday just to help out with this venture and his passion for food in general and for quality ingredients was evident. My personal excuse for the lack of detail in this write-up was that I was just too engrossed watching him cook and tasting the ingredients and the mustards to make notes, so this is written up from memory.
I’ve always liked Maille products. I used to come home from my holidays in France as a teenager with jars of Maille mustard, a selection of cheeses and (if my budget ran to it) a bottle of wine or of Chartreuse. And I continue to buy their mustards and sauces. Some of the range being showcased at Spitalfields is simply not available in the UK though so if, like me, you are a bit of a Mustard-Head, get down there before the pop-up shop vanishes and stock up.
Needless to say, I came home with a jar of honey mustard and one of Chablis mustard from the pump and, if I’d been left alone for any longer I would have bought a lot, lot more!
The Maille mustard boutique is at Spitalfields until Sunday 17th July 2011.