Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
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The impeccable and debonair Travelling Gourmet goes to attend a soiree with…
MONSIEUR Grégoire Debré the ever dynamic Directeur of SOPEXA South East Asia…and Her Excellency Madame Laurence Beau, the Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy in Singapore. It was a most enjoyable event with wines and French style Canapes made by a Japanese Chef who cooks French cuisine with a Japanese twist. This restaurant is very fascinating as it has a French Sommelier. More about them later…
Held in OCF Restaurant, helmed by the GM, Novalan, one of the nicest restauranteurs I have ever met. Nova and I go back a long way. he was the Head Sommelier of the Raffleas Grill in ‘la grand dame’ of Singapore, the Raffles Hotel. Now he runs OCF Restaurant as the GM. OCF also provided some of the little bites and French-style canapes!
Not many know that SOPEXA’s Grégoire is related to Michel Jean-Pierre Debré (15 January 1912 – 2 August 1996), the first Prime Minister of the fifth Republic of France. Always modest, Gregoire told me about the upcoming “la semaine francaise” or French Week, “We have a casual and informal soiree to preview the week when we celebrate all things French!”
I shall drink to that!” was my response…and I did. Tall and jolie Morgane Foucaud showcased her Cheeses and Sauccison and Salamis from her company, La Petite Boutique. I simply adored the little cute meaty sausages! YUMMIE! I am a Carnivore at heart n’est pas! Her Bleu de Gex Fromage de Dauphine is superbe! Not for the faint hearted, it will grow hairs on your chest! and blow your socks off too! I overheard a young “Ah Lian” like lady who I categorised as one who is more into Char Koay Teow and You Tiao… than Blue cheese…She gamely tried some and grimaced, “It’s really strong!” she said to her strumpety friend. Well, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. There are those who hate caviar and black truffles! Lucklily for me, I am not one of them…Wahahahah!
It really was most enjoyable to have an intelligent conversation with HE The Deputy Head of the French Embassy. Elle est tres charmant et intelligent…When Laurence heard that I had just returned from Washington DC in the USA, she asked with a mischievious twinkle in her eyes, “Who will win the US Presidential Election?” I sipped my wine and answered diplomatically, My very good mon ami in England who you French call “le roast beef” says, “It is a choice between the terrible witch and the terrifying wizard…c’est complique…” Laurence laughed heartily, showing a set of very nice teeth. My father always advised me. “Always talk to diplomats…diplomatically. He was a very wise gentleman. Well, maybe Trump will be the next US President…and it may not be so bad for the world…Time will tell.
Laurence continued, “D’accord, c’est complique…you know the English call us “Frogs” so we are even!”
I love French cuisine and frogs too done in the Oriental or in the Occidental style…I love Paris in the Springtime…
When you savour and relish French cuisine and good French wines…it is truly “La vie en rose…”
Yes, there is never a dull moment when you are The Travelling Gourmet TM…:-)
OCF Restaurant…It is named after Sir Stamford Raffles’ first wife…
The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane #02-02
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