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Christmas Gold

Each month, Paris Match and Waww La Table invite artists and personalities to meet around a great chef, in order to celebrate the gastronomic meal of the French. For the holidays, let's go to Prunier.

The goal of the feast is to make us better: this is the whole moral of “Festin de Babette”, by Karen Blixen. So it would take his pen to report on the sumptuous dinners organized by the new young ladies of Rochefort of the gastronomy, Arabelle Reille and Péri Cochin, who are not twin sisters but friends of thirty years.

A year ago, when the pandemic was ravaging the world, they had the idea of presenting each week, on Instagram, the contest of the most beautiful table, Waww La Table, under the aegis of a jury of experts made up of Stéphane Bern, India Mahdavi and Thierry Marx. At the same time, they decided to invite members of the elite on a monthly journey back in time, resurrecting the time when the aristocrat Grimod de La Reynière offered sumptuous feasts in the midst of the Terror that have gone down in legend. Born in 1758, this aesthete (died of apoplexy while eating a turkey with chestnuts on Christmas Eve 1837!) had in fact set himself the goal of instilling in the new ruling class the good manners of the nobility. Before Grimod, the word gastronomy did not exist. In its unfolding, the gastronomic meal of the French, listed in the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, was born at this pivotal time.

 

La table de 18 convives était ornée d'un magnifique décor floral signé Lachaume. Les assiettes en porcelaine provenaient de la manufacture italienne Ginori 1735, à Florence

Arabelle and Péri's formula is simple: a place, a stage, guests and a great chef. This is how, on December 6th, they orchestrated the ceremony Waww Le Dîner at the seafood restaurant Prunier, in the private Izba dining room, which Pierre Bergé had repainted with gold leaf and decorated by Jacques Grange in 2000, after he bought the establishment classified as a historic monument. The table of 18 guests was decorated with a magnificent floral decoration signed Lachaume. The porcelain plates came from the Italian factory Ginori 1735, in Florence (which has just opened a shop in Paris). In this intimate and subdued atmosphere, the "mayonnaise" had no trouble rising between Patrick Bruel, chef Gilles Goujon of whom he is a big fan, Sophie and Jacques Séguéla, Pauline and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Emmanuel Perrotin, Constance Benqué, and the winner of the Contest for the most beautiful table, Annick Denis-Bertin.

le chef trois étoiles Gilles Goujon, venu spécialement de son Auberge du Vieux Puits dans les Corbières, avec Paul et Enzo, ses deux fils, et Axel qu'il considère comme tel.

While the Dom Pérignon Plénitude 2000 champagne with a nose of brioche (provided by Moët Hennessy) sparkled in the crystal goblets, the three-star chef Gilles Goujon, who came specially from his Auberge du Vieux Puits in the Corbières, prepared an anthology dinner with Paul and Enzo, his two sons, and Axel whom he considers as such. What a fascinating ballet that is "danced" by these accomplices who understand each other half-heartedly! Goujon is a force of nature, a bull who makes lace... To accompany the Prunier caviar, he made blinis as light as air before our eyes (without butter, with buckwheat flour), which he refused to reveal the recipe to us… This is also why the kitchen was empty: no question of revealing his tricks! Just know that all the chef's masterpieces were served, from the "Crystal zucchini flower stuffed with a lobster sorbet" to the "Genuine delicately brittle fake Menton lemon" through his famous "Chicken egg" Carrus "rotten with melanosporum truffles", which has become a classic of French cuisine… For a moment, we thought he was going to start a game of poker with Patrick Bruel, while Jacques Séguéla recounted his memories: a successful feast!

Emmanuel Tresmontant