Featured Fitness Stories

Breaking down French cuisine’s finest machinery

Breaking down French cuisine’s finest machinery

Whereas French delicacies could be present in virtually each metropolitan metropolis of the world, just a few handfuls of eating places dare to tackle the torturous wanting but intriguing Canard à la Presse. Right here’s a better take a look at this uncommon French preparation method.

“This is fucking ridiculous. Wow”.

Not being referred to as somebody who’s left speechless, that is what an astonished Motion Bronson managed to utter after making an attempt the French delicacy on the upscale New York Metropolis restaurant Daniel’s (view prolonged video on the finish of this text). And searching nearer into the noble machinery and beautiful timing it takes to grasp this system, one can simply perceive why.

The Canard à la Presse interprets immediately into the much less fancy widespread sounding pressed duck, and describes one among French cuisine’s rarest and most awe-inspiring preparation methods.

French delicacies custom isn’t precisely recognized for being mild or humane. Conventional dishes like foie gras or ortolan (the place you actually engorge, blind and drown a tiny chook in cognac earlier than consuming it by masking your head in a serviette to cover the disgrace) have proven the merciless nature of French delicacies, and though the duck press doesn’t attain that degree of ferociousness, it nonetheless won’t be for the faint of coronary heart.

Press play and get a fast first take a look at the preparation of Canard à la Presse – from kitchen to desk serving. Video by Stian Broch/stianbroch.com.

An historic gadget

The tactic of preparation dates again to early 19th century Paris, when it was invented by Monsieur Machenet, and shortly thereafter gained reputation with prime cooks of the town. The contraption itself is one thing worthy of revolutionary thinkers like Leonardo Da Vinci, and is a masterpiece on it’s personal and is best defined as wanting like an enormous French press used for espresso, solely product of shining metallic and standing on strong (typically duck-looking) ft.

Utilizing your creativeness the entire system can resemble a big mechanical duck, giving the general expertise an ironic twist. The basic dish that was invented with using this machine is canard à la rouennaise, translated into the not-so appetising duck in blood sauce, for the famend Paris dinery La Tour d’ Argent, that also serves a rendition of this basic dish to today.

Because the identify hints the primary ingredient is a duck and the pre-preparation is a science itself. Though the method differs barely relying on the place on the earth it’s served, it begins off with a duck that also has the guts, lungs and liver intact. This final one is eliminated and reserved for a special function, whereas the duck is calmly torched earlier than being roasted, leaving the pores and skin crispy and the within comparatively uncommon. Not so grisly or out of the odd thus far, however that is just the start.

The present continues within the eating room on a desk beside the friends, in clear view of diners. Right here the breasts and legs are eliminated and brought to the kitchen to be ready, whereas the spectacle within the eating room continues: when the remainder of the duck carcass is minimize in half. That is the a part of the present the place it takes a sadistic twist.

Photograph: Stian Broch

The entire carcass is positioned contained in the gleaming silver press together with the interior organs. The lid is shut after which your server begins turning the large wheel which pushes a plate down, squashing the duck like an orange juicer. With each additional flip of the wheel bones are crushed and organs liquefied, and extra frothy pink duck juice pours out from the underside.

This liquid is poured immediately right into a pan, the place it’s most frequently thickened with the chopped duck liver and flavoured with cognac, Armagnac or purple wine and decreased till it reaches an ideal thickness. What occurs subsequent differs barely in every restaurant, however generally by now the duck breasts have been ready, and are returned from the kitchen to be paired with the sauce and the fortunate diner is served this French delicacy that really makes use of the whole duck. Ugly preparation maybe, however kudos on the sustainable waste discount.

Duck presses will not be straightforward to return by anymore and eating places that provide this, typically require it to be ordered prematurely. Are you craving to sink your tooth into this lavish feast? Listed here are some eating places that use the duck press to perfection.


La Tour d’Argent, Paris

Right here it’s! Canard à la presse in motion within the restaurant that originated the tactic. (Photograph: La Tour d’Argent)

It’s inconceivable to say Canard à la Presse, with out mentioning La Tour d’Argent in Paris. The place the place the method initially stems from. La Tour d’Argent is excess of only a restaurant – it’s a Parisian establishment courting all the best way again to 1582 and was rumoured to be frequented by Henri the 4th. A practice began within the late 1800s, when the restaurant was owned by Frédéric Delair. He began presenting a numbered certificates to every one that ordered the home specialty, which you may need guessed, is the Canard à la presse. In 1996 La Tour d’Argent was awarded Three stars in Information Michelin, it now holds a 1 star recognition, however can also be acknowledged as probably the most essential eating places in French delicacies historical past.

www.tourdargent.com – 17 Quai de la Tournelle, Paris, France


Marchal, Copenhagen

The Chef’s Desk at Marchal, one of many metropolis’s oldest eating places within the prime location of the Lodge D’Angleterre. (Photograph: Marchal)

Marchal is the resident luxurious restaurant of the equally luxurious d’Angleterre lodge, and as you possibly can hear by the identify, French delicacies is in focus. The lavish Marchal opened in 1755 and their duck press is considered virtually a century previous, the custom of serving the dish additionally dates means again. It was nevertheless discontinued in 2010, when the lodge and restaurant went via a complete renovation. In response to the story, the press was misplaced and the reminiscence of it began to fade, till new head chef Andreas Bagh arrived. He heard whispers and rumours of a “working duck press” to be discovered someplace on the premises. His curiosity led him to start out wanting, lastly discovering it within the attic, the French delicacy made a triumphant return to the menu in 2016.

www.dangleterre.com – Lodge d’Angleterre, Kongens Nytorv 34, Copenhagen, Denmark


À L’aise, Oslo

À L’aise is the French for snug and it comes to point out on this lavish luxurious restaurant in Oslo, headed by Danish chef Ulrik Jepsen. (Photograph: Restaurant À L’aise)

You in all probability wouldn’t join Oslo with high-end French delicacies, however since opening in 2017, critics and foodies alike have praised À L’aise, and head chef Ulrik Jepsen, for really bringing a excessive degree of worldwide delicacies again to the town. Critiques have been close to good, with critics acknowledging the restaurant as Oslo’s greatest contender for a coveted Michelin star. Ulrik Jepsen masters the artwork of French delicacies and their model of the duck press is not any exception. Right here the geese are matured for Three-Four weeks earlier than present process the press. The spectacular cherry on prime at À L’aise? Their duck press is made from actual silver, including that additional wow-factor for the spectators.

www.alaise.no – Essendrops gate 6, Oslo, Norway


Operakällaren, Stockholm

We dare you to not be impressed by the beautiful eating room of Operakällaren. (Photograph: Operakällaren)

Like La Tour d’Argent, Operakallaren additionally has an incredible historical past, Courting again all the best way to 1787 when it was located within the cellar underneath King Gustav the third opera home, the place it get’s it’s identify that instantly interprets into “the opera basement”. Now the property homes 4 eating places, a cocktail bar and an astonishing wine cellar, with a kitchen led by Stefano Catenacci, who was chargeable for catering the marriage of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria in 2010. Pressed duck has been an extended custom at this institution and to make the delicacy extra attainable for curious minds, Operakällaren provides a particular 5-course menu each Wednesday, the place French duck instantly from the press is among the tasty treats you possibly can bask in. Operakallaren actually combines one of the best of luxurious French gastro-history with a contemporary metropolitan twist.

www.operakallaren.se – Operahuset, Karl XII:s torg, Stockholm, Sweden


Otto’s, London

Otto’s Restaurant provides you a homey feeling whereas not compromising the standard. On the proper you’ll be able to spot two of their presses. (Photograph: Otto’s).

Ottos’ is described as a “classic French restaurant with creative twists” and is the popular eatery for Londoners to quench their urge for food for the French delicacy. Otto’s has solely been open for seven years, however already garnered a fame as probably the greatest French eating places within the nation, with a powerful wine listing and meals comprised of the freshest seasonal produce out there. At Otto’s there isn’t any compromising with the standard, which is superior, and though the décor doesn’t precisely invoke the emotions of real basic effective French eating, the environment is extraordinarily homey and alluring and makes your eating expertise much more snug. It’s the perfect of each worlds.

www.ottos-restaurant.com – 182 Grays Inn Rd, London, United Kingdom


Daniel’s, New York Metropolis

You may be fooled to assume this romantic setting is situated in Southern Europe. However in reality that is the picturesque eating corridor on the acclaimed Daniel in New York Metropolis.

World famend star chef Daniel Boulud’s eponymously named restaurant, Daniel, has since 1993 introduced an beautiful style of basic European delicacies to the Huge Apple. Daniel Boulud is not any stranger to world delicacies. He has 13 eating places everywhere in the world, and has garnered a number of accolades, similar to James Beards Awards for “Outstanding Chef” and “Outstanding Restaurateur”. His flagship restaurant is situated within the former Mayfair Lodge, on a aspect road to the distinguished Park Avenue. Adored by foodies and critics alike, particularly the duck press served right here has been a spotlight level amongst publications together with Meals Community, The New Yorker, New York submit and for YouTube-series Munchies, when the notorious Motion Bronson stopped by. See that video proper on the finish of this text.

www.danielnyc.com – 60 E 65th St, New York Metropolis, USA


Le Pressoir d’Argent, Bordeaux

On the Grand Lodge in Bordeaux, you will see one among solely 5 strong silver presses on the Le Pressoir d’Argent 2-starred Michelin restaurant.

We’ll spherical out our record with a reinvention of the pressed duck courtesy of none aside from Gordon Ramsay. Le Pressoir d’Argent, or The Silver Press, is the adequately named restaurant of Ramsay’s Bordeaux location that shares its tackle with the Grand Lodge de Bordeaux. In fact, the canard à la presse is a given at this 2-starred Michelin restaurant, however what’s much more fascinating is their homard à la presse – or lobster press in layman’s phrases. Their in-house gadget could be very uncommon, comprised of strong silver, and is certainly one of solely 5 worldwide. This true collectors merchandise is used every day to crush the shell and carcass of the blue lobster, to be able to extract the juices. It’s a time-honoured ritual and a visible efficiency for the various patrons of the restaurant.

www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com – Place de la Comédie, Bordeaux, France


View what Motion Bronson needed to say about his encounter with Daniel’s pressed duck.



Trustworthy Cooking’s How To: Canard à la Presse

– feat. Ulrik Jepsen, À L’aise, Oslo

Nonetheless hungry for extra details about Canard à la Presse? We requested Ulrik Jepsen from Restaurant À L’aise in Oslo to assist us break down how the machinery works step-by-step. (All photographs with the courtesy of Stian Broch/stianbroch.com).

1.  “First we present the whole duck to the table, so they can see the whole fried duck and smell all the wonderful aromatics it is letting out. The duck is seared on the outside while still relatively raw on the inside”.

2. “Now we separate the bones from the meat table side. The breasts and thighs are brought back to the kitchen to be prepared there. The carcass and the organs are then put in the press”.

Three.  “Now for the actual “hard work”. The wheel is turned, urgent the plate down and crushing the bones and organs. That is actually a two-man job, as you want a pair of regular arms to carry the press, whereas one other set of arms flip the wheel. The blood is sieved contained in the machine earlier than it comes out, so there aren’t any small items of bones or meat with the juice”.

Four. “Now we make the sauce – still table side – by adding the blood over low heat, alloying the sauce, which is normally made with red wine or cognac or port wine. This is kind of like making mayonnaise or bearnaise sauce and requires complete focus from the chef so it doesn’t go wrong”.

5. “Onion, butter and herbs are added and is sautéed in the saucepan while the sauce is slightly reduce. By this point the scent of the sauce really starts spreading in the air to the delight of patrons”.

6. “This whole process last around 10 minutes, and the duck breasts have been prepared in the meantime. These are brought out to the table and the dish will be plated in front of the guest. Bon appétit!”.

Daniel S. Bahrami

Daniel S. Bahrami is a Barcelona based mostly author with a background in digital communication and journalism in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has been a part of the editorial employees of the most important Danish trend journal, Eurowoman, and has labored freelance for a number of different publications in addition to expertise in style and gastronomy PR.

Extra Posts – Twitter – Fb