This week Como House South Yarra plays host to The Président Cheese Paris To Provence Festival celebrating all things French. Over the course of the festival, some of Melbourne’s best French chefs and pâtissier’s will be partaking in cooking demonstrations showcasing their unique skills in the art of French cooking. We spoke with Pierrick Boyer, Le Petit Gateau, Arno Backes, Ganache Chocolate, Mercédé Coubard, A La Folie Patisserie and Agathe Kerr, Agathe Patisserie about what they are looking forward to at the Festival, their favourite French dishes and their favourite French haunts in Melbourne.

PIERRICK BOYER – LE PETIT GATEAU

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What are some of the highlights of your session at Paris-to-Provence?

Interacting with the public and sharing professional technique to be done in an home kitchen. For me it’s making sexy desserts at home, made easy for the at-home cook.

Favourite French dishes?

Vanilla crème brulee

Favourite French place in Melbourne?

Anything that Philippe Mouchel is involved.

ARNO BACKES, GANACHE CHOCOLATE

Arno-Backes

What are some of the highlights of your session at Paris-to-Provence?

The goal of my sessions at The Président Cheese Paris To Provence Festival is to create something different, I will be using my favourite French Valrhona couverture to make a delicious Blue Cheese Truffle.

Favourite French dishes?

My favourite French dish so far has been Philip Mouchels Rotisserie Chicken – it is delicious!

Favourite French place in Melbourne?

A La Bouffe, here in South Yarra is nice and close for a fantastic evening meal and is currently my favourite place in Melbourne.

MERCÉDÉ COUBARD, A LA FOLIE PATISSERIE

Mercede Courbard

What are some of the highlights of your session at Paris-to-Provence?

I am very stressed actually, for the first time I’m going to have cooking demos! I’ll be showcasing choux pastry; simple but soooo good with beautiful fillings. I will share the real recipe of our Petits Choux! At the same time I am very excited as at The Président Cheese Paris to Provence Festival, we are going to launch a new product, our “Millefeuille”, another French classic pastry! It’s known here as a “Vanilla Slice”, but I’m willing to bring to Australia the Classics, showcased at their best.

And we’ll see, we may have more new sweets, and as usual it will all be very very French…

My Favourite French dishes?

I love simple comfort food, so I would say Duck Confit with its garlic/parsley potatoes, or an Eye fillet with black pepper sauce and French fries.

Favourite French place in Melbourne?

For my “charcuterie” fix, I go to La Parisienne Pâtés.

AGATHE KERR, AGATHE PATISSERIE

Agathe Kerr

What are some of the highlights of your session at Paris-to-Provence?

Apart from all the basic steps to making a good croissant, I will show that you can really skip going to the gym and the therapist if you make them regularly. You get to beat the daylights out of butter which is a great way to unload some stress. Not to mention that working with the rolling pin, especially on a 40 degree day, can work wonders on your arms, shoulders and biceps.

Plus you get to eat at the end of it, so what more in the world could you ask for? Croissant therapy! That’s what it is.

Seriously, it is good fun making croissants, very rewarding to see and enjoy the result, and I am not kidding about the work-out.

Favourite French dishes?

I love traditional dishes such as “Blanquette de veau” (veal stew with white creamy sauce and mushrooms), “Coq au vin” (rooster in wine sauce) and also two of what people may consider disgusting dishes – not snails although I like them too – but I really enjoy “boudin noir” (black pudding) and “Andouillette” which is really pigs intestine. Delicious with hot mustard and chips.

I won’t get started on sweet dishes as the list is too long!

Favourite French place in Melbourne?

“Le petit gateau” on Little Collins st. I am not saying that because chef Pierrick Boyer is at the festival. I have a sweet tooth, and Pierrick and his team make amazing pastries; they are a fusion between Australian and French traditional cakes and I love that concept. Pierrick is an inspiration for me… and he has some cool tattoos!

GIVEAWAY

If you are a cheese lover than we have the perfect giveaway for you. You have the chance to win 3 months worth of Président cheese valued at $147. You have until 5pm EST Saturday 22 November 2014 to enter.

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About The Author

Katherine Ng

Katherine is not your typical Beauty Editor. Finance consultant by day and beauty and fashion addict at all other times, Katherine spends her hard-earned money helping the Australian and international economy with her never ending pursuit of everything pretty. A keen traveller, Katherine still holds dear her Melbourne roots with an overflowing wardrobe filled with black clothes, shoes and handbags. Katherine also has a deep love of food and wine, and you can find those adventures on instagram at @thegreedykat Email: [email protected] Twitter: @kath_couturing Instagram: @kath_ng