On a recent visit to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, we had the pleasure of an invitation to lunch at Le Cordon Bleu College or Culinary Arts teaching restaurant called Technique. Le Cordon Bleu is a prestigious world-wide network of  teaching institutions that provide a creative and supportive community where passionate individuals can immerse themselves in the culinary world. Here, students work alongside caring, experienced chef instructors and are taught the skills necessary to pursue a professional career in the culinary/hospitality industry.

Technique Restaurant is a special opportunity to taste the work of our future culinary professionals.  The menu is small, allowing the chefs-in-training to focus their learning to make the dishes perfect.

This particular Technique has a liquor license and two choices of wine on their three-course lunch menu.  Being the often-naughty vinoboy, I chose the wine and asked the waiter-in-training to inform our new chefs to pair their choices for me with the wine.  Lan Gran Reserva 2003, Rioja was my wine of choice. (smooth tannin, plum and spice on the palate yet medium-light body)

Chef’s choice appetizer is a Curried Chicken Tartine (Seasoned chicken slices on a caraway-scented baguette toast topped with a cranberry compote.)  The curry on the chicken was alittle discordant with the wine but the sharp cranberries and the nuttiness of the caraway in the toast made a nice pairing.

Chef’s choice of entrée is a pan-seared salmon filet with a julienne of vegetables in a rice sheet wrapper.  Fish was nicely done; still creamy in the center, the crunchy freshroll and its aromatics was nice with the wine though the arugula salad was a little too peppery.

The dessert selections were not at all conducive to the wine.  I suggested they think beyond the menu for the Chef’s choice of dessert. I had a hunch they’d not really have the facility to pull something off, so i finished the wine and ordered coffee to enjoy with the Profiteroles au Chocolat.

Pictures of all the above dishes are available at the Technique website.  The Cordon Bleu’s website will tell you if there’s a school near you.  All gratuities are donated to the Career Education Scholarship Fund for Le Cordon Bleu.

Not exactly a vino post, but definitely worth sharing my experience there.

Cheers~

~tvb

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