Day 2 Dinner: Pork Rillettes and Julia Child’s Pain Francais

Pork rillettes: Making pork rillettes is like finding the path to enlightenment — seemingly daunting, this turned out to be such a simple, finger-licking good dish that just took a leap of faith. Why had we not made them before? We used Suzanne Gozarth and Aaron Solley’s recipe from their Beard House dinner.

Julia Child’s baguette: A buy-and-bake costs $2.50, and JC’s baguette takes 3 rises and over 6.5 hours to get the dough to the oven. Worth it? In French short, ABSOLUMENT.

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We found JC’s baguette to be absolutely spectacular. Crunchy on the outside, hole-y and almost buttery dough on the inside. So fun and rewarding to make, and to eat too — especially when paired with beurre d’Isigny and our pork rillettes.

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Day 1 Dinner: Joel Robuchon’s Two Mushroom Veloute 

Inspired after a meal at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA, we took on Joel Robuchon’s creamy mushroom soup — paired with a Willamette Valley Pinot from Cristom, this soup had to-die-for flavor but was lacking in texture (sorry Joel!)

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Creminis and shiitakes were finely chopped, simmered in chicken broth, then blended before adding a plump tablespoon of creme fraiche and freshly roasted and ground corriander. A few creminis were reserved and thinly sliced for the topping, along with a sliver of truffle oil.

The flavor was divine — hearty and earthy with an aromatic accompaniment. But the blending left us with a grainy soup with bits of mushroom throughout. Could we have blended longer? Perhaps. An alternative technique will be researched for future attempts.

Day 2 Breakfast: Trouchia


Trouchia: A healthy omelette/frittata-esque breakfast made famous by the one and only Joel Robouchon. Healthy because of its use of oil instead of butter, just a few eggs, and a heavy dose of chard and herbs (chervil, parsley, tarragon) — famous because it is so darn tasty. No wonder the beautiful people of Nice have no trouble fitting into their string bikinis.

Just mix the ingredients together in a saucepan, bake at 350 for 20 minutes, flip the bastard once, bake again, then flip again onto your plate for a gorgeous tarte-like presentation.

Lesson Plan: French Cooking in the Anderson Valley

Day 1: Warm up

Dinner: Dungeness crab with melted beurre d’Isigny (the BEST), mushroom veloute with roasted asparagus 

Day 2: Surf and turf a la francaise

Breakfast: Joel Robouchon’s Trouchia 

Dinner: Pork rillettes with cornichons and spiced olives, Coquilles St. Jacques with braised endive

Dessert: Strawberry rhubarb tarte

Day 3: Au four – to the oven!

Breakfast: Canale rum cookies and coffee

Dinner: Thomas Keller’s roast chicken, spinach gratinee, salade de fenouil cru

Dessert: Tarte au citron with a Suzanne Goins twist

Day 4: A la marocaine

Breakfast: Jacques Pepin omelette aux fines herbes

Dinner: Bone-in lamb schwarma accompanied by Julia Child’s baguette, couscous with yogurt sauce and harissa, and two salads — grated carrot and orange; eggplant tomato and garlic

Dessert: Tarte Tropezienne

Day 5: A l’américain

Brunch: Bagels (we couldn’t resist)

Cocktail hour: Carter Beats the Devil mezcal cocktails