Our all-terrain baker Claire Choux (from Lorraine, France) led a wonderful French theme night at the Cooking @ the box hosted by the Paintbox Lodge, in Canmore. A private kitchen party that the Lodge organizes regularly with different local chefs.

Claire moved to the Rockies after travelling the world; she worked as Chef de Partie Entrée (Starters)at Le Suquet, a 3 Michelin Star restaurant owned by famous Chef Michel Bras and his family, before obtaining a Work and travel visa in Canada.

Her passion for cooking motivated her to work hard for many years in some of the best kitchens and starred restaurants in France. Now, in a totally different environment, she is a loved member of our team. She moved to Canada to improve her baking skills.  As our primary baker, Claire arrives at the bakery at 3 am to create the ephemeral artwork that her breads turn into, day after long day.

Vive la France was a night of haute cuisinein a convivial (warm and friendly) atmosphere. Accompanied by Pascale (owner of the bakery) who played the role of sous-chef, Claire cooked for us a beautiful and tasteful 3-course meal.

As Chef Claire was preparing and explaining her cooking methods, we enjoyed personalised mini pains de campagne and pain Montagnard with (you guessed it) butter!  Oh, and of course, bubbles!!!

The entrée (starter) was an œuf parfait (also known as a 64° egg), nested on a cream of mushroom and a sauté of mushroom, garlic and fresh parsley, then topped with an émincé of crispy bacon (minced) and radish micro-greens. The contrast of flavours was wonderful and just made us wish to taste more.

For the plat principal (main course), Claire cooked sous-vide a perfect Alberta AAA filet mignon, rare of course, served with béarnaise sauce, pommes croquettes, sautéed asparagus and steamed orange and purple cauliflower. The plate was beautifully decorated with curled fresh asparagus and micro-green sweet pea shoots.

The final touch to what was already a phenomenal dinner was a Tarte Tatin reinvented: the apples were shaped in a dome, then laid on a sweet dough base filled with a vanilla whipped white ganache cream and decorated with streusel.

All 12 dinner guests were impressed and delighted by the menu Claire created for them.