FERRANDI IN ARTWORKS : A EVENT-BASED TEACHING PROJECT
Born out of a partnership with the Musée du Louvre, the ‘FERRANDI en Oeuvres’ teaching project, 28th and 29th May held an event on at the FERRANDI Paris restaurant at the Saint-Gratien Campus.
IN THE STYLE OF THE TIME
Held in two classes, one of 1st-Year BP Arts de la Cuisine students and the other from BAC PRO Commercialisation et services en restauration. In addition, the project’s goal for our apprentices was to inspire them with the works of the prestigious museum In order to create two meals centring around one single artistic masterpiece in our school’s application restaurant. After having viewed several rooms in the Louvre, our apprentices, supervised by a multi-disciplinary teaching team and guided by our partner at the museum, identified and selected works which would go on to become the basis for their menu for the event.
A PERFECT OSMOSIS BETWEEN KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM
From the Italian Renaissance to the still-lifes of the 17th and 18th centuries, with representative meals ranging from peasantry to Ancien Régime nobility, the five selected works, by Archimboldo, De Heem, Le Nain, Desportes, and De Troy, comprised of 4 teams of as many serving staff as chefs, creating a harmony between the kitchen and the dining room. It is this that was one of the projects strong points: to have chefs and serving staff work together on the creation of a menu resulting from common reflection and shared history, going far beyond a simple morning briefing.
FROM CANVAS TO TABLE
Inspired by Archimboldo and his renowned scenic paintings, our four apprentice chefs opened the festivities by creating an appetiser and starter using the famous painter’s fruit and vegetables, the assembly of which strongly resembled the original piece. Other creations followed, reflecting the subject of the work, its elements and models, its colours or even the culinary methods of the time and of the social class shown: “With the help of our waiting staff, we did a lot of research using the Louvre’s Atlas database in order to get to know the paintings better, and, with the help of our teacher (Gilles Olivier), we created our own recipes,” Naël, apprentice in BP Arts de la Cuisine, recounts. Some of the recipes, with the sound advice of their apprenticeship leader, will even go on to be used in the Louvre restaurant.
THE ART OF HAVING IT BOTH WAYS
In the dining room, our apprentice waiters were able to take advantage of and and enhance, with the help of Stéphane Magniez, their teacher, an important contribution to history and the culinary creativity it has inspired thanks to the beautiful surroundings: “For the decoration, the right side of the restaurant represented the peasantry and the left side the nobility,” Christel, in BAC PRO CSR, explains to us. “The bar created a separation between the two spaces, allowing customers to move from one side to the other after finishing the starter, taking the trou normand we were serving in passing,” adds Katell. Further to the constrasting décor, there was table dressing conforming to the the reproductions of the paintings hung on the walls and also with service dressed in fashions of the time, an idea conceived by one of our own apprentices. Were our waiters aspiring comedians, perhaps? Without a doubt, as, well-informed of the menu and aided by Isabelle Farge, French teacher at the Saint-Gratien campus, they went as far as performing the dishes served with short theatrical performances marking the transitions between each service, each performance evoking the following dish to come like the painting that inspired it. An exception was made for dessert, beautifully announced and presented by two apprentice chefs who came into the dining room and met their customers.
In summary, the teaching experience was both professional and cross-sectional, owing its success particularly to the beautiful cooperation between kitchen and dining room.