We have this sort of unofficial supper club with some of our Chester County residing Shipley friends. Last night, we were treated to dinner at the home of one of these friends. We all went to France via Chester County because another guest at the table was renown local chef, (an actual honest to goodness amazing French Chef) Sylvie Ashby.
Chef Sylvie lives in West Chester. She was born and raised in Normandy, France. She always wanted to share the love and passion for French cooking and comfort food the French traditional way by only using seasonal fresh produce and meats from the local markets.
Last evening’s dinner was one of my favorite meals ever. I grew up on bœuf bourguignon or beef Burgundy or bœuf à la Bourguignonne is not some ordinary stew, as delicious as they may beef. It is elevated far beyond that and if done properly like last night, the meat does not disintegrate but melts in your mouth. Last night, it was probably hands down the best I have ever had.
We started with hors d’oevres of belgian endive boats piped with a light and fluffy goat cheese, goat cheese toasts, and one of my favorite purely French treats I have never made, gougères! Gougères are these fluffy puffs of warm pastry made with Gruyère cheese. (Check out this recipe for gougères from Alain Ducasse.)
After our main course of bœuf bourguignon we had a marvelous salad with fresh greens and a delightful vinaigrette with an amazing blood orange infused olive oil from a Taste of Olive in West Chester. And the bread? Amazing as always from La Baguette Magique in West Chester.
The beef and cheese were also locally sourced. I forget whose goat cheeses we had, and
I do not know the farm name for the beef but for some reason I think it was from down near Landenberg.
And dessert? Channel your inner Julia Child, it was Floating Island! Floating Island is a light as a feather dessert consisting of meringue floating on crème anglaise. The crème anglaise is custardy and delicious. Chef Sylvie finished the dessert with a light caramel drizzle.
This dinner was a true mini vacation to France. I love when we get together to have dinner with our friends, and we loved being introduced to Chef Sylvie.
And guess what? You too can hire Chef Sylvie to bring the taste of France to your home for intimate gatherings. Chef Sylvie specializes in French country cooking, bringing France to the comfort of your own home for private dinner parties. And her prices are emminently reasonable. She also will cater events like birthday parties, Girls ‘night out, Crepes bar party, Book Clubs, Wine Clubs…her website is cuisinedesylvie.com . You can also find her on Facebook Cuisine de Sylvie.
One thing I did not ask her is if she teaches cooking classes. I think that would be super fun!
Stay safe in the snow and ice!