🌺 Cod, Caviar, Champagne Sauce 🌺
à la L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Sooner or later the question was bound to be asked, “What is your favorite restaurant in Las Vegas?” So many great chefs, so many fabulous restaurants… But after much consideration, I chose L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand for several reasons. With 31 stars, he is The Most Awarded Michelin-Star Chef in the World.
But surprisingly far from being stuffy, L’Atelier is fun! As one would expect, the French-inspired dishes are second to none. Each one prepared with the exactness the Chef became known for, his relentless perfectionism; he famously said there is no such thing as the perfect meal – one can always do better.
With that black & red decor, intentionally designed to be the opposite of old-style French white & gold, the atmosphere is striking and modern. The service is simultaneously easy-going and top-notch. Wines are meticulously paired to elevate the entire dining experience. A seat at the counter often results in a genial and lively evening. Strangers become friends, there is a gregariousness in shared appreciation of the late Chef’s vision of stellar dishes, prepared in view of the guests, offered in a spirit of conviviality.
In 2003, the first L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon opened its doors in Paris, in the 7th arrondissement, and simultaneously in Tokyo. The success of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris encouraged Joël Robuchon to develop its concept all over the world. The Las Vegas restaurant opened in 2005, followed by New York, London and Hong Kong, Taipei and many more.
Here, I re-create an exquisite dish and table setting from our most recent meal at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – Cod with Caviar and Champagne Sauce.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Las Vegas
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🫐 Spiced Chilled Blueberry Soup 🫐
Fresh Blueberries, Toasted Hazelnuts, Kefir, Sour Cream
Sure, we could serve this delightful Spiced Chilled Blueberry Soup without the garnishes but what fun would that be?
While cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, allspice, and vanilla take a simple fruit soup to another level, the garnish gives it the wow-factor. Plump juicy blueberries and chopped toasted hazelnuts are mounded in the center. It turns out that blueberries and hazelnuts have an affinity for one another. And if a few edible flowers and fresh mint are available, why not add those too? Now the soup is ready to serve for a colorful summer luncheon. Bon appétit! 🌷
Spiced Chilled Blueberry Soup Recipe
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🫒 🧀 🍞 Loaf-Pan Focaccia 🍞 🧀 🫒
🥑 Avocado Focaccia Toasts 🥑
Small-batch focaccia dough is topped with olive salad, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, and baked in a loaf pan. It is heavenly, served warm with herbaceous fruity olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar for dipping.
The leftover portion is wrapped up and saved for the next morning’s breakfast – avocado toasts served two ways, plain and loaded. Focaccia is great as a sandwich bread, and loaf-pan focaccia makes for the absolute best avocado toast!
The dough is made with five simple ingredients – bread flour, instant yeast, salt, water, and olive oil. Compared to all-purpose, the amount of protein found in bread flour is higher in order to contain and produce more gluten and achieve the desired rise in bread. Because of this higher protein level, bread flour is able to absorb more liquid, allowing it to hold its shape and rise upward. The high amount of gluten in bread flour also creates a more elastic dough, which helps achieve focaccia’s airy crumb and chewy texture. Olive oil is added to the dough for tenderness and flavor.
Loaf-Pan Focaccia and Avocado Toast Recipes
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🌿🌼🌿 Cabillaud aux Asperges 🌿🌼🌿
(Cod with Asparagus)
Asparagus Cream Sauce, Balsamic Reduction
This lovely fish and asparagus dish was inspired by one of several fabulous courses we enjoyed at Picasso Restaurant by Chef Julian Serrano in Las Vegas.
The Chef’s menu is drawn from his own background in the regional cuisines of Spain and France, and in honor of Pablo Picasso’s Spanish heritage and years the master artist spent living in France.
The fish course was particularly memorable for its simplicity, harmony, and quality. A beautiful fillet of seared Chilean Sea Bass sat on a raft of perfectly cooked asparagus spears, covered with a light blanket of sauce hollandaise. The brilliant element of the dish was the Chef’s addition of a balsamic reduction, which juxtaposed intense sweet and tangy notes with the rich fish and buttery sauce.
For my version, I serve a pan-seared Wild Alaska Pacific Cod with its pleasant, slightly sweet, mild clean taste and lean flaky texture. And here, hollandaise is replaced by an Asparagus Cream Sauce made from the surplus of my Asparagus Soup for a delightful springtime dish.
Recette de Cabillaud aux Asperges
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🌿 Cream of Asparagus Soup (Hot or Cold) 🌿
“An excellent light supper need be no more than a good soup, a salad, cheese and fruit. And combined according to your own taste, a good homemade soup in these days of the can opener is almost a unique and always a satisfying experience,” so says Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One, Fortieth Anniversary Edition published by Alfred A. Knopf 2006.
And the beauty of this soup is that it is equally excellent served either hot or cold. Depending on the occasion, the weather, your menu, your mood… whatever it may be – choose the hot or cold version for your delicious soup-centric supper.
The month of May is the perfect time to serve this super-easy, seasonal asparagus soup! The color is quite spring-y. It has a lovely mild, grassy flavor with earthy and nutty undertones plus an exquisite creamy texture. It’s simultaneously simple and elegant, suitable for a weeknight supper or a weekend gala.
Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe
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