Friday, January 31, 2014

Launch of La Maison Maille (by invitation), Mt Eliza by Bureaucrat

If you're the food shopper in your household, you've most likely have seen the curvy jars of Maille mustard (prounounced, MYE-il), with its distinctive black background and gold lettering.  It's definitely one of the posher brands of mustards that you get from the shops.  As we're loving this sharp, hot condiment of mustard seeds, olive oil, lemon and vinegar, Maille is one of the top five mustard brands in Australia.  

In a unique partnership, Ritchies IGA in Mt Eliza has become the first La Maison Maille (House of Maille) in the southern hemisphere.  

At La Maison Maille, you can taste a range of its products, which includes 22 types of mustards and other condiments, such as white balsamic vinegar and passionfruit and mandarin vinaigrette).  In doing so, it's definitely putting Mt Eliza, and the Mornington Peninsula region, on the global foodies' map.  Maille has in recent times opened up other La Maisons in Paris, Dijon and London.

Throughout the event, the guy on the left stood guard over the jar of Maille Chablis mustard with Black Truffle ($100), which is made from wine sourced from the Burgundy wine region and black truffle from PĂ©rigord in France.  The Maille Chablis is only available for about four months each year.

Chef Adrian Richardson, who is so energetic that it was almost impossible to get a still shot of him. 

To officially open the first La Maison Maille outside of Europe, we were invited to attend a masterclass with Chef Adrian Richardson (from La Luna Bistro in Carlton, and also Good Chef, Bad Chef on telly) and to have 'Le Drunch' - a late lunch/early dinner - that featured many of the Maille products.  

Chef Adrian Richardson with Ritchies IGA CEO, Fred Harrison, in front of La Maison Maille.

Before Le Drunch was served, we got to taste the black truffle mustard, which was smeared on a piece of fresh bread.  The truffle mustard certainly packs a mustardy punch!  It wasn't until a minute after the heat had died down in my mouth and palate that I could taste the presence of the truffle.  

First course was bruschetta topped w grilled avo, goat's cheese, rocket and Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.  This was my favourite course of Le Drunch.  Crunchy bread with the grilled avo (which gave the sensation that you were biting in a sea of warm avo) melding into the incredibly juicy and flavoursome roasted cherry toms.  The melted goat's cheese added to the oozy quality of the dish.  The balsamic vinegar cut through the rich lusciousness with the right amount of sharpness.

Second was a pepper crusted beef salad, w Danish fetta, caramelised onions and Honey and Aceto Balsamico di Modena mustard.  The honey gave the balsamic vinegar gave it nice sweet mellowness - not too sweet or too tart.

Third course was Thai style green mango and papaya salad w prawns, chilli and sweet mango dressing.  This was made with the Maille Vinegar and Mango Puree.  I quite liked it - in the bottles, it's a brilliant golden yolky colour.  While I'm not a fan of the typical sweet chilli sauce/dressings, I did quite like the vinegar and mango puree dressing.  It achieves a similar effect without being sickly sweet and cloying on the palate.

Fourth was fillet steak wrapped in bacon and blue cheese mustard topped w thyme.  To my own surprise, the Maille blue cheese mustard was my favourite product.  I can't stand blue cheese as I can't get past its strong aroma.  But here, where it is incorporated into mustard, the cheesy ponginess is tempered.  What you taste is this deeply umami cheese flavour without the pong.  This mustard reminds me of adding anchovies or Worchestshire sauce to a dish - it gives it a deep savoury flavour that adds depth and character to a dish.  I'd definitely can't wait to find ways to add this into my cooking (perhaps in a quiche or savoury pie).

Fifth course was Russian strawberries w brown sugar, mint, Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and double cream.  Lovely fragrant strawberries macerated in vodka.  I have to say I couldn't quite taste the vinegar in it, though.

Last but not least was the blue cheese and cheddar platter, accompanied by Honey and Aceto Balsamico di Modena mustard.  A different take on the cheese board, this was.  Personally, I found the cheddar fritter (on the left) went better with the honey and balsamic vinegar mustard as the flavours were more suited to each other than the blue cheese-filled gougere (right).

Thank you to Maille and Ritches IGA for inviting me to attend the launch of the first La Maille Maison in Australia (and in the southern hemisphere).  If you're a mustard aficionado or you're like me, a keen foodie, who loves to meander her way through a providore/deli/grocery/kitchen shop, make your way down to the Mornington Peninsula and visit La Maille Maison for the full range of products.  If you can't make your way down there, then do try out the range of Maille products in your local shop.

La Maille Maison
Ritchies IGA
20/89 Mt Eliza Way
Mt Eliza, Victoria 3930


obelix glutt said...

Richo was there! Sounded like a great event

obelix glutt said...

Richo was there! Sounded like a great event

Bureaucrat said...

indeed it was!

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