I can say with certainty that they will have thoroughly enjoyed their lunch, as earlier this month I was invited to Bosis sleek Electrolux test kitchen at Hibiscus for a sneak preview of the menu
Yesterday, Claude Bosi, controversy-courting head chef of London’s Hibiscus, served up a five course tasting lunch to the Cinéfondation Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. (Cinéfondation supports young international filmmakers.) I can say with certainty that they will have thoroughly enjoyed their lunch, as earlier this month I was invited to Bosi’s sleek Electrolux test kitchen at Hibiscus for a sneak preview of the menu.
He started off with the season’s first asparagus, poached in serious amounts of butter and served with confit orange and black truffle puree. Although the thick buttery taste somewhat obscured the asparagus, it was an excellent start and a crisp, fresh 2009 Henri Milan Grand Blanc complemented the starter’s richness well.
A second course of lobster, with a wood sorrel and seaweed cream and compressed apple sauce, was delicious, although I was ambivalent about what the sauce contributed to the dish. The highlight of the third course was a beautifully textured and meaty foie gras, and the summery pear puree with which it was served was a good partner.
I can’t speak for the Cannes jury but, for me, the highlight of lunch was the next course: slow-grilled Elwy Valley Welsh lamb, morels and kaffir lime. The lamb was moist, cooked to perfection (Bosi insisted this was not entirely down to his expertise, but also to the Electrolux oven in which it was cooked), and was also served with little cubes of dried coffee and tarragon. ‘I bet you don’t just use Nescafe,' joked the journalist sitting next to me. Bosi pointed out that that was precisely what it was. A full-bodied 2007 Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone was the perfect accompaniment.
Given the amount of time he spent lovingly explaining dessert, I would guess it’s probably Bosi’s favourite part of the Cannes menu. He calls it ‘Piano on the Beach’ (pictured above) – it’s inspired by the film ‘The Piano’ – and it’s a curious combination of ingredients: asparagus cream, coconut and black olive. I’m not a huge fan of desserts dominated by savoury flavours, but this one was great and rounded off a superb lunch.
If the Cannes jury felt anything like I did upon leaving Hibiscus, I’m sure they resumed their judging in a pretty good mood, their palates having been indulged but also educated by Bosi’s innovative, delicious menu.