Welcome! Here you'll find quotations on food and cooking chosen by Catherine of Albion Cooks

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Michelle Bernstein on the creation of Chocolate-Painted Fois Gras

"I didn't have a very firm grip on the terrine mold, so instead of lifting it, I only succeeded in pulling it off the shelf. It eluded my slippery fingers and tumbled down past my widening eyes, right into the bowl of chocolate sauce, where it bobbed for a moment, like a ship with a hull breach taking on water, and then proceeded to sink into the murky depths.

As I reached in after it, my colleagues rushed over to help me try to save it — a difficult task. Had the terrine come straight from the fridge, it would have been hard and cold, and easy to wipe off. But softened as it was, and warming even more thanks to the chocolate, it was beginning to leach out into the sauce. Tan globules were bubbling up to the surface, turning the chocolate into a mocha-colored nightmare.

I gingerly retrieved the unmolded terrine from the sauce and laid it out on my station. The other cooks and I stood over it in our chocolate-spattered whites, trying to decide how to save our patient. The first step was to halt the melting and preserve its shape, and we worked on it furiously, smoothing it over with spatulas and our fingers.

I was panicked beyond words. "

Michelle Bernstein, from "Two Great Tastes" in Don't Try this at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs


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