In this series, columnist Sibylle Eschapasse interviews some of France’s top chefs, the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.
Years of experience with French cuisine:
Maitre Cuisinier de France since:
Sibylle Eschapasse: What does it mean to you to be a Maître Cuisinier de France, a most envied title?
Mr. Claude Godard: To be recognized by more experienced chefs than me. It is an honor.
Ms. Eschapasse: Why did you choose to become a chef?
Mr. Godard: I always loved to look at my father and grandparents cooking when I was a child. I was very attracted by food.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your cooking in three words, what would they be?
Mr. Godard: Generous, tasty, and traditional.
Ms. Eschapasse: If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
Mr. Godard: A cheesemaker or pastry chef.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who would you consider your greatest culinary influence?
Mr. Godard: My father.
Ms. Eschapasse: How would you define French cuisine?
Mr. Godard: Exquisite, unique, and technically sophisticated.
Ms. Eschapasse: Tell us about the recipe you chose.
Mr. Godard: Poached Egg Meurette comes from the region where I am born. It represents the marriage of the food and the wine. It’s a perfect dinner.
You can watch Godard demonstrate the full recipe on “Celebrity Taste Makers” on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m on PIX11.
Poached Egg Meurette
- 4 slices white bread
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 4 porcini mushrooms
- 4 fresh eggs
- 2 bottles good red wine
- 1 shallot
- 5 ounces butter
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bunch chives
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Remove the crust from the slices of bread and cut each into a 4-inch disc. Toast the discs, then rub them with the cut sides of the garlic.
Wash and pat dry the mushrooms, then dice them.
To make the sauce, pour one bottle of wine into a saucepan with the sliced shallot, 2 bay leaves and 4 sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced to one-fourth of its volume. Set aside.
Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Over high heat, sauté the mushrooms with a touch of butter until golden brown. Set aside.
To cook the eggs, bring the second bottle of wine to a boil with the remaining bay leaves and thyme. Lower the heat to bring the liquid to a simmer. Break in the eggs and poach them until soft.
At the same time, finish the red wine sauce. Simmer until it is reduced a bit more, then add the remaining butter.
On a large plate, place one toasted disc in the middle and top it with an egg. Pour some sauce over the egg, arrange the sautéed mushrooms around the plate, and scatter chives on top. Repeat with remaining plates and serve.
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and lives in New York City. In addition to working at the United Nations, she contributes to various publications and is the host of “Sibylle’s Top French Chefs,” a series being aired on “Celebrity Taste Makers.” She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org