Second Banquet

Bonjour à tous !  This is Banquet Team 2 checking in: Alena, Lessi, Zach, and Tanner (and Julie!). Here is our experience preparing and enjoying the second banquet of the semester in Bordeaux.

We were definitely intimidated after hearing about Banquet Team 1’s success with Jules Mulhern’s Boeuf Bourguignon, and we were not sure how we were going to top it. Finally we came up with the brilliant idea to prepare ratatouille as the plat principal, which certainly knocked the first team’s efforts out of the park.

Sunday morning began with a shopping excursion to the Marché des Capucins to buy fresh vegetables and a gâteau (cake) for dessert. The market was a great place for us to practice our French. The best part was getting to pick from a wide variety of cheeses for the cheese plate. Picking out the cake was also a highlight of the morning.

After the market, it was time to choose the wines and to buy the Kir Royal. Half of us went for the wine, while the others brought the groceries over to the apartment to get started on cooking.  Zach, Tanner, and Lessi  washed the vegetables and cut them up to prep them for the ratatouille.  Meanwhile, Alena and Julie cooked the crust for the quiche.  The quiche (our entrée) went into the oven just before the guests arrived.

The menu, handcrafted by Lessi

Aperitif: Kir Royal

Yes, perhaps this is not the most original aperitif, but we know what’s in style concerning aperitifs, and we went ahead with serving Kir Royal. It was a great way to start a long, long meal.

Entrée: Quiche à la pâte d’Alena

After Tanner gave a presentation on Quiche lorraine in Dr. Caldwell’s class the week before, we decided to prepare a quiche for the entrée. The quiche was vegetarian, baked with sautéed vegetables and surrounded by a crust made by Alena.  All agreed that the quiche was a huge hit.


Alena and Julie forming the crust for the quiche

Tanner the master frying the vegetables prior to the stewing fiasco

Plat Principal: Ratatouille à l’auroch

There seemed to be no dish more fitting than ratatouille. We carefully prepared ratatouille with and without meat in order to please our meat-eaters and our vegetarians that night. The ratatouille had to be cooked for a bit longer due to a near disaster on the cooks’ part. We missed the part in the recipe that said we should stew the vegetables and the meat separately. Also, it took a bit longer than expected to get the couscous to the typical consistency.  In the end we pulled it together, and the rave reviews made us forget our earlier panic.

Salade: Salade verte à la sauce Tanner & Assiette de Fromages

One can never go wrong with a salad after a main course. We served a salad with a simple but chic bowl of greens drizzled with a mustard sauce. The salad was then followed by an assortment of cheeses: camembert, roquefort, comté, and chèvre. While the salad was delicious, the cheese platter was the true highlight. Our group does not agree on which cheeses are the best, but we all think that comté, a hard cheese with mild flavor, is delicious. Many members of the group love chèvre, a soft goat cheese, while others thoroughly dislike it. This split has caused an ongoing and spirited debate within the group over chèvre’s ranking amongst the cheeses.

Dessert: Moelleux au chocolat du marché capucins

The French says it all folks: a chocolate cake, paired with two bottles of sauternes, a very sweet white “dessert wine.” The cake bought fresh from the market that morning was rich, moist, and unquestionably delicious.

Vins: Château Pontet Fumet (Saint-Émilion), Château Potensac (Médoc), Château Haut Bommes (Sauternes).


Chef Zach makes an appearance at the guest table: with Macalah, Gracie, Emily, and Cate 

After an evening filled with laughter, storytelling, great food and conversation, and a bit of on s’adapte-ing, it is safe to say that Banquet 2 was a total success.

We are Banquet Team 2, we are classy and we are sassy!