I was expecting to see a huge crust pyramide being brought on stage at Théâtre Edouard VII, and so I was slightly disappointed when I saw a very large pâté en croûte being carried in the adjacent restaurant. But my bad mood only lasted a few moments until I tried the « Oreiller de la Belle Aurore », a dish inspired to charcutier Gilles Verot by Jean Anthelme Brillat Savarin, the famous gastronome who had started as a lawyer and politician.
Verot in his speech, insisted on the quality of the pork he buys from Laurent Guglielmi, a breeder in La Bazoche-Gouet, in Perche (west of Paris) who sells “Large White” and “Landrace” pigs only.
The Oreiller’s recipe will not be divulged but if I tell you that foie gras, black truffles, sweetbreads, and paté from various game, wild duck, pheasant, young deer, hare, all mix in a huge terrine and become a mille feuilles of savors and perfumes, you will trust me. It takes a week to assemble and actor Pierre Arditi who had just finished his afternoon performance of “Le Mensonge“, a play by Florian Zeller where he is the lead with his wife Evelyne Bouix, seemed to enjoy his friend’s creation very much. And so did conductor Jean Claude Casadesus who seemed very happy!
The real magic of the evening was to taste this once in a lifetime paté with an accomplice, Béatrice Terry, whose husband, a gourmet and law professor (like Brillat Savarin), challenges Verot in finding new recipes. And she was kind enough to tell me all she knew about the “chiffonée de jambon blanc’s” particular excellence and diverse saucissons sec. So I decided to go and visit his shop on 3 rue Notre Dame des Champs and this is what I found…First it is tiny and the line of customers fills it up fast even at 9.30 am. Everyone is incredibly jolly and speaks to each
other comparing the quality of food. I loved the look of tarte italienne a sort of fancy pizza and indulged in the three “jambon blanc” and “au torch on” which are exceptional, and in different types of paté en croûte: the world vice champion, includes pork, foie gras and yellow chicken, the Houdan paté is not bad either. I don’t like quenelles de brochette but if you do, I am sure they are delicious.
You can also find Verot’s specialties in Toronto, Boston, New York and London at Bar Boulud and at DBGB in the Bowery.
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