Rio-based chef Claude Troisgros called in a few French friends to help him cook up a storm in Paris last night. The occasion? A fundraiser for the Pequeño Príncipe (Little Prince) children’s hospital in Brazil’s southern city of Curitiba. Brother Michel, from the celebrated Maison Troisgros in Roanne, provided a chilled broth of crayfish, beetroot and radish just zinging with sweet & sour & crunch – and almost too pretty to eat. Brazilian trailblazer and ex-Presidential chef Roberta Sudbrack followed with a foam-filled martini glass hiding a superbly gooey egg on a bed of crispy crumbs and creamy foie gras. Claude served up a nugget of roasted cod paired with wonderfully sticky banana, coriander butter and Brazilian spice urcum. The dish that makes-you-go-ooooh moment, though, belonged to stove-top legend, Pierre Gagnaire, who sent out a snow-white slice of pressed chicken on a bed of crispy fennel, white cabbage and just mustardy barley, accented with acerola berry butter. Dessert, a decadent sliver of chocolate, mousse, mascarpone and fig from Cordon Bleu chef Nicolas Jordan brought an end to life in the feast lane. The hospital’s connection with France has its roots in literature rather than cuisine, with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book, The Little Prince, providing its care manifesto. “There was on a star, a planet, mine, the Earth, a little prince to be comforted! I took him in my arms and rocked him gently”. Brazilian soccer legend Pelé is a committed supporter of the Hospital Pequeño Príncipe via his Goals For Life Program and Claude Troisgros is patron of the Goals for Life Gastronomic Cup, a series of five gastronomic events featuring celebrated chefs preparing dishes using Brazilian ingredients. The first Cup was held in Curitiba in 2011, the second in São Paulo in August 2012 (Le Chateaubriand’s Iñaki Aizpitarte took part along with Spaniard Ignacio Echapresto and Brazilians Alex Atala and Roberta Sudbrack), with the latest edition in Paris. In 2013, it moves to New York (Daniel Boulud will be on that menu) and Rio de Janiero in 2014, just in time for the World Cup.
Ecrevisses aigrelettes à la manoa by Michel Troisgros