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Day 9 July 18, 2007

Day 9 July 18, 2007
Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France


Today, we woke up early (7:00am) to eat breakfast at the chateau before making the 90 minute drive south to Le Chapon Fin in Bordeaux for our 9am private cooking class. We arrived about 20 minutes late due to various traffic and stomach issues! Our translator from Bordeaux Saveurs Voyages, Mary, greeted us at the entrance to the restaurant, offered us drinks, then took us downstairs to the exhibition kitchen to meet chef Nicolas (the restaurant’s head chef and our instructor for the morning). Mary is originally from Texas but has lived abroad since she was 19 and speaks English with a British accent! Mary had prepared menues with recipes for each of us. Our first recipe was a chocolate mousse sans gelatin (because Chef Nicolas doesn’t like to use it!). We then moved on to foie gras using fresh duck liver straight off the farm – Nicolas even showed us how to slice and prepare it a tartare as well). Next, was a fish dish using a locally-caught fish which we learned how to de-bone, de-skin, and filet. We ate each dish as it was prepared then finished making the dessert. Nicolas taught us how to make delicately-shaped cookies, as well as the proper care and use of knives. Although we were supposed to eat lunch at Le Chapon Fin after our class, we decided to cancel our reservation – too full from the lesson! Matthew then took the Golf and tried to find the EuropCar office at the Bordeaux train station (no luck!) while Emma and I shopped. We definitely need to return to Bordeaux and spend time sight-seeing – it’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen, reminiscent of an ancient Savannah with the city squares and parks. We left Bordeaux and headed north to Chateau Leoville Las Cases for another visite and degustation. Roland was our guide for this tour, and he showed us the workings of the winery and let us taste some younger and some older wines. It was fun to see another vineyard, but I think two visites are plenty – more degustations are in order for our next trip! We headed back to Beau Jardin to relax. Jean had some DVDs (in English), so Emma and I watched a bad Hilary Duff/Heather Locklear movie while Matthew checked his email and voicemail and dealt with some work stuff. We ate a smaller dinner in the chateau that was good and less heavy than the night before.


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