French menu ‘not very Bolero’

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  • Oh La La- Bolero chef and owner Jonny Roberts will be making a French feast for a Bastille Day event, held by the l'Alliance Francaise des Bermudes next Saturday. ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

    Oh La La- Bolero chef and owner Jonny Roberts will be making a French feast for a Bastille Day event, held by the l'Alliance Francaise des Bermudes next Saturday. ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

  • Oh La La- Bolero chef and owner Jonny Roberts will be making a French feast for a Bastille Day event, held by the l'Alliance Francaise des Bermudes next Saturday. ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )

    Oh La La- Bolero chef and owner Jonny Roberts will be making a French feast for a Bastille Day event, held by the l'Alliance Francaise des Bermudes next Saturday. ( Photo by Glenn Tucker )


A sweet and savoury feast is on offer at Bolero Brasserie in honour of Bastille Day.

There won’t be any baguettes or onion soup served at this l’Alliance Française des Bermudes dinner. Bolero owner and chef Jonny Roberts wanted to push the kitchen staff to new limits and wow guests with a special French menu for next Saturday’s event.

“This particular menu is a challenge for us because our kitchen is so small and our à la carte menu is designed to our tiny kitchen, so this has to do the same,” Mr Roberts said.

“We have to be so well organised and the space we have available for plating is very limited so we just have to be highly organised and very prepared and for our chefs it’s a bit of a challenge as well.”

The event will commemorate the French national day, celebrated each year on July 14. Traditionally it’s recognised in France with a military parade other countries celebrate with French food and fireworks.

It’s held on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, which was considered a sign of the uprising of a modern nation.

The l’Alliance Française des Bermudes encourages people to come dressed up in France’s national colours of red, white and blue. The party starts at 6.30pm.

Tiger shrimps wrapped in puff pastry will start off the meal created by Mr Roberts’ team of five chefs.

“They end up looking like croissants when they are cooked,” Mr Roberts said. “Those will be served with a grain mustard cream sauce.”

Guests with food allergies or those looking for a more vegetable hearty option can choose summer vegetables marinated in a black truffle vinegarette. The starter will be paired with an egg, which is poached, then dipped in breadcrumbs and deep fried before plating.

For the main course, francophiles can enjoy either a beef or fish course.

The beef tenderloin will be poached in red wine, orange juice and spices like cinnamon, cloves and anise. The dish will be served with potatoes and vegetables, explained Mr Roberts.

The other choice for the evening is baked cod with a roasted garlic crust, served with a tomato and basil confit and grilled eggplant.

The meal is sure to end on a sweet note an apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream is one of two dessert choices.

Mr Roberts explained: “It’s cooked upside down, with the apples in the bottom of the pan and the pastry is put on top. You bake that in the oven and after it’s cooked you flip it over so the apples are caramelised on top and the pastry is underneath.”

Chocolate lovers can forgo the apple dish and indulge in a sweet chocolate fondant. Mr Roberts described it as a chocolate pudding with chocolate-covered balsamic candied walnuts.

He said the walnuts would be cooked in a tangy balsamic dressing and sugar. “They are sticky, but then you dip it in chocolate. It ends up being a sweet dish, but it also has a tang in it from the vinegarette which blends well with the chocolate.”

Mr Roberts has been cooking for a quarter century and has owned Bolero, located near Cafe Cairo and Moon Night Club on Front Street, for the past five years.

He said the French-themed meal was inspired by flavours and tastes he experienced on his honeymoon in the country ten years ago. “I took inspiration from my time there. I remembered certain things that go well together. That [visit] is something I will never forget.”

The Bastille Day menu was quite different for the restaurant and “not very Bolero”, he said.

“Bolero’s theme is a bit more simple and less intricate than this menu and we offer more of a high-end bistro style of food.

“I certainly hope people enjoy it. We have a very large regular cliental following, but there will probably be some people at the event that have never been here so hopefully we can wow them and they will come back.”

He couldn’t pick any standout items in the French-themed meal, but said it was sure to be a crowd pleaser.

“It’s just a menu I think is going to go down with everybody,” he said.

Tickets, $75 for members of $90 for non-members, are on sale at Pulp & Circumstance in Hamilton, until Wednesday.

For more information e-mail contact@alliancefrancaise.bm.

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Published Jul 6, 2012 at 7:34 am (Updated Jul 6, 2012 at 7:34 am)

French menu ‘not very Bolero’

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