Meet Chef Stéphane Jego – And His Legendary Rice Pudding!
One of the best bistros in Paris is called Chez L’Ami Jean – home to an acclaimed Chef who delivers traditional french food with a creative eye – and has an amazing rice pudding dessert that is to die for!
Here is how Travel + Leisure describes Chez L’Ami Jean:
“Situated in the Seventh Arrondissement, this small, lively bistro is often lauded as the best in Paris. Run by celebrated chef Stéphane Jego, the restaurant serves authentic Basque fare in a traditional bistro-style setting with closely packed tables and an open kitchen. The walls are decorated with Basque sports memorabilia, while strings of garlic and Espelette peppers hang from the ceiling.”
In fact, there are many unique artistic touches that adorn the restaurant walls:
Under The Chef’s Watchful Eye…
Chef Jego has an artistic eye for sure, as well as an eye on everything, all the time, while also running a kitchen that I was excited to see filled with female Chefs…
No matter who is in the kitchen, it’s all about the food, so let’s dig into our lunch tasting menu:
Alex and I are huge fans of razor clams, and here they are delivered simmered in a delicate broth and left in the shell with herbs and sliced peppers for us to dig out and enjoy…
We had the Chef’s menu, so the dishes came at us faster than I could document – so if any of these are described wrong, sorry!
A stuff cable dish with glazed vegetables was delicious – if anyone has more information on all of the elements of the dish, please let me know…
Next up was Chef’s signature grilled Quail…topped with a delicate collection of pea tendrils – all of Chef’s food was rich and delicious, but not heavy at all…
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a side of mashed potatoes, and after you finish with these main courses, they bring you some cheese – served on a slate slab:
Now, time for the big finale: the Chef’s legendary Rice Pudding…here is how he describes it on his website:
“I don’t like sweets but… I love the rice pudding my mum used to make, I love even more the memory I kept of it, as a creamy and flavoured pudding. Then I recreated this childhood memory. I served it with salted butter caramel whipped cream and roasted caramelized pecan nuts. I wanted to obtain a blend of rounded smoked flavours, with crunchy nuts on your teeth and a soft result in the mouth. This is my definition of pleasure and even Barack Obama indulged in this sweet treat. I always serve the rice pudding at the end of the meal, sometimes with other desserts. I serve it in a big bowl and I like to see the diner guest sharing it.”
Here is the recipe in pictures, beginning with the base of caramel shipped cream and roasted carmelized pecan nuts – and then you see it created from there:
And they recommend you stir it all up and go to town, which we did…incredible flavors and texture!
Chef Jego was willing to pose with us, and he signed a menu for us as well…a great reminder of a memorable meal from a master!
Let me know if you’ve eaten at this incredible bistro!