What an event! Myriam Conrié-Thibault hosted a splendid Provence Degustation of 13 Desserts of Christmas this weekend at Tastevin Bistro and Bar. And I was delighted to be invited to join the celebration.
Turn back the clock two years, and I’d only just discovered this tradition of 13 desserts for Christmas. That Christmas I was in Paris. My tree was decorated in the traditional French red and gold. My Christmas Day without a stove. At that time I didn’t realise that the tradition of 13 desserts came from further south, and knew less about it. I had only just read how the 13 desserts symbolise Jesus and the 12 disciples. My purchases from Fauchon and Hediard included my favourite ‘calissons‘. Myriam’s banquet also included almond ‘calissons’ and more.
Her delicious event included many charming stories beautifully told … and even more …
Provence Degustation Menu
Mixed Provençal antipasto with olives and homemade bread with rosemary and caramelised onions
Glass of ‘Easy Rosé’ from St Tropez
Traditional ‘Bouillabaisse’ with sauce rouille and croutons
13 Desserts of Christmas
Brioche with sultanas
Lavender panna cotta
Dark chocolate with cinnamon & orange peel
Dark chocolate ganache infused with violet flowers
Blood orange milke chocolate with rosemary & tarragon
Hennessy XO Cognac
Myriam delighted us with stories. Of Bouillabaise we learnt how the word describes the cooking process – returning the stock to the boil before the addition of each separate fish. How the brioche represents breaking bread. And the spices and dates of the Middle East represent the wise men.
Our knowledge was tested too, with a game of trivia – 5 questions – about Provence. 13 of us got the answers right. At the table next to me, Paul won the prize from a lucky draw. I got the answers – but not the prize.
I really loved ALL of the chocolates! But then again you would expect they’d be fantastic – as Myriam takes chocolate tours around Sydney. There was a shining star atop the Christmas tree was for me the (light as heaven) Lavender panna cotta and (the freshly churned) Orange sorbet from the kitchen of Tastevin. Just superb.
Lots of faces I know were in the room. Good to see Not Quite Nigella, Tony Hollingsworth, Helen Crozier and to sit with the charming Karen and Champagne Jayne. So it wasn’t just an entertaining and delicious afternoon – but I was also in good company!
Myriam’s husband Jean Conrié estolled the history of Hennessy. We drank Hennessy XO. (I should have said we revelled in sipping Hennessy XO). Warm, round, comforting, smooth, tobacco, wood, and vanilla. Sooo smooth! Jean told a story too. A couple in fact. Of the history of the cognac, originally created in 1870. At the time before World War 1, Australia was (I think?) the second largest export market in the world. Hennessy’s not a French name. It was started by an Irishman. (hint to family inserted here for Christmas presents).
Thanks Myriam for a lovely day. It was a long slow leisurely lazy lunch and thoroughly enjoyed. You’ll notice I’ve put 13 photos in this post to go with the 13 desserts.
Now the news you’ll want to know is this was not a one off event. Myriam will be back in February with a Basque Lunch by Mytinerary. I’ve already saved the date! (the 5th!)
Tastevin Bar & Bistro
292 Victoria St
Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Australia
+61 (0) 2 9356 3429