For some, nothing beats a cassoulet in winter. White beans; confit duck, pork, or goose; and pork sausage go into this hearty French dish from southern France.
It is both fun and serious business, and the Académie Universelle du Cassoulet promotes the dish throughout the world. A cassoulet route was created, from the city of Narbonne to Toulouse, and a merry little hymn even created to sing its praises (see Academie-du-Cassoulet.com).
Jan. 9 is the second annual National Cassoulet Day, and from Jan. 5 to Jan. 11, several restaurants will be offering diners their version of the cassoulet.
Philippe Bertineau, the executive chef at Alain Ducasse’s Benoit, is the sole U.S. ambassador on behalf of the Académie Universelle du Cassoulet. He’ll offer a Cassoulet Experience for the Table ($46 and up per person) with a winter vegetable hors d’oeuvre, cassoulet served family style, and for dessert Pomme au Four with red currant marmalade and crème fraîche.
Other restaurants to offer cassoulet include Lafayette, Estela, Madison Bistro, The Spotted Pig, and Danji. The full list can be found on BenoitNY.com.
Should you like to show your cassoulet mettle, consider entering the 7th annual Cassoulet Cookoff at Jimmy’s No. 43 (open to professional and amateur chefs). The curious can buy tickets to the walk-around event and taste more than 10 cassoulets. ($30, jimmysNo43.com)