Festive menus, quality products and a decent budget: a great selection at the Marché des Chefs
This year, Christmas will in principle take place in small groups. You can see the glass half full and direct the pleasure towards exceptional products. Poultry, truffles, Scallops, smoked salmon, foie gras, but also bottarga, quail, “never tasted anything like it” ice cream, shrimp croquettes, fontainebleaux and go, madness! cherries as big as little apricots… To be spoiled for choice in terms of quality, head to the Marché des Chefs, a fresh market, butcher’s, fishmonger’s, cold meats and delicatessen which, originally was opened for restaurant chefs’ needs for good products. Today, 90% of customers are individuals. Who can shop with their eyes closed, well served and well advised by a reliable team. And in particular by the extraordinary boss Valérie Mailian who selects the producers with whom she works faithfully: she talks about it as if it were her family!
We asked this great connoisseur of good products and greedy at heart to offer us ideas for holiday menus for all budgets. Because if we praise for decades the foie gras “the best in the world”, the Mailian caviar ” which comes from a 15 year old fish and eggs never collected before the 4th laying to make them bigger »(95 € a box), there is also something to marvel at in front of the incredible flavors … without reaching € 4,550 per kg of Alba’s white truffle! Visit, in tastes and prices …
Pasta on the table
Head to the grocery store to choose the ptake italiens Morelli (€ 4.50 for 500g), the latest Italian pasta prepared according to an ancestral recipe using wheat germ. Result ” a dough with an intense taste, more dense. We eat much less and we are well fed! ” .
We bring them back in a truffle juices (€ 19.50, tastier than truffle oil) with a little butter and it makes a delicious festive dish. It can be used for a risotto with St Jacques (the big Scallops from Dieppe is about to arrive, between 9 and 20 € / kg) on which we spread strips of truffles. For large budgets, nothing like the white Alba truffle (4550 € / kg or 135 € for 30g) or the black Périgord truffle, for 20 € per person, you will feel all the aromas!
We stay in the pasta for a dish that is still little known but which counts among the most popular gourmets for its simplicity: it is the quality of the product that makes the dish exceptional. We are talking about the bottarga , whose strips are a delight when placed on pasta worked in oil or butter. With a risotto, it also works. 40 € for 200g and with that, we can make a few dishes! Let’s stay in Greece, with the Tarama , the real one that can be recognized by its gray-pink color and not pink pig: the small jar (appetizers) is at 2.90 €, the 500g jar displays 9.80 €.
The “Abel Bernard” foie gras according to the Mailian family recipe is a must and a real pleasure that we will pair well this year, “ We work with the farm of Jean Sarthe, a goldsmith in the field, we only work with producers who respect the animal, the product, always! And from the start it’s like that », Underlines Valérie Mailian and that is why the choice is limited: it’s simple, the best is selected!
Are you crazy about poultry? Without going into the price of turkey or capon, the stuffed hen , it’s a delight and for 5 to 6 people, it costs around 30 euros with a foie gras stuffing. For the quail , this goes up to 12 € stuffed.
Good meat: shoulder of Quercy lamb , the beef tenderloin that we will prepare Rossini style, or the roast veal with truffle, the 650g pigeon or the Burgaud duck tenderloin (served at the Tour d’Argent, please!) can hold the high stuffed turkey dragee.
Of the sea
Parties without salmon are unthinkable, so indulge yourself! At the Chef’s Market, “ It is semi-wild from Scotland, with a slow growth, which is smoked the old fashioned way with beech wood. It has taste, it has substance and above all, it is not stuffed with drugs », Animates the boss. This Borvo salmon (which throne on the presidential tables, on that of Macron for example) is displayed for a bard (14 slices) at 120 euros while the back of smoked salmon, under vacuum, is worth 29.75 € for 300 g, perfect in starter for 4 or for a light dish for two.
For fish, Valérie Mailian advises to abstain for the holidays: there are not many fishermen out, auctions are rare and prices are increasing. Fans of the scallop shell will be able to fetch it between 9 and 20 € / kg, we expect them so we do not know the price, it will depend on the fishing in Glénans and Dieppe.
The shrimp croquettes a good big size is 7 € each, it works well solo for a starter, the cheese fondu is 6 €.
Desserts like never before
Now, let’s talk about desserts. Starting with ice cream like you’ve never eaten before. Martine Lambert’s preparations are made especially in this way for the Chef’s Market: with almost no sugar (between 10 to 13%), the quality raw material “real whole eggs, real fruit”: we tasted the banana, it’s like crunching straight into a fruit picked ripe on a tropical banana tree. And what about the vanilla (€ 19.95 per 500 ml jar) it is incredible: we even taste the difference between that of Madagascar and that of Tahiti (longer in the mouth). Box insured with a ball on which you crumble a speculoos!
For gourmets, we offer pistachio (€ 15.85 per 500 ml jar) accompanied by small sour cherries in syrup (€ 28.50 for a very large pot), or simply grape ice cream (22g of grapes for 100g anyway, who could say better?). They are macerated in a generous rum whose flavor explodes and goes perfectly with the creamy ice cream.
You can also finish lighter with the incredible mandarin qumquat sorbet with pieces of Candied clementines artisanal (€ 10.50), it’s unstoppable.
A little magic dessert: the Fontainebleau (like a Gervita but very fresh, artisanal, to taste power 10! € 3.45 for 2 jars) which we place a few spoons on a bed of Chestnut cream la Hulotte (€ 7.85).
The good news continues with a Château Corbin Miclotte of great depth, located right next to the Petrus vines: the 2016 vintage is € 29.75, the Bourgogne Côté d’Or Oligocène is € 24.50 “it is terrible. “. Eric Isselée’s Blanc de Blancs champagne, which accompanies the entire meal, from aperitif to dessert is € 29.97. Valérie Mailian is not a little proud either of her St-Estèphe Château La Peyre 2015, which she displays at € 19.95. “The estate was bought by Pape Clément, go see how much they are selling it now …”. Finally, a small everyday Médoc sells for € 10.50 (or € 9.63 / 12).
So, how does this New Year’s Eve look? Without forgetting one of the other great assets of the house, especially in this complicated period: free home delivery throughout Belgium and even in Luxembourg.
> The Chefs market, 38 rue Lens in 1050 Brussels. Phone. 02. 647.40.50. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.