Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Alain Roussel of La Ferme (Part II)

Photo courtesy of
‘Chef Alain’s Perfect Chocolate Souffle’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

Nestled away in a gorgeous residential neighborhood, a delightfully rustic French restaurant has been catering to nearby residents for the past 25 years. We were greeted with a handshake and said our farewells with the typical kiss on each cheek. Presenting us with perfectly typed out recipes and instructions, Alain was quick to jump right into the good part: eating. He orchestrated our kitchen experience like no chef has done before, alternating a little cooking with a lot of eating.

We started off making his Grand Marnier Soufflé. The presentation of the huge Grand Marnier bottle was enough to make me want to “Ooo” and “Ahh,” but then I asked if I could taste the bucket of pastry cream hanging around on the table, and oh boy, I could have stolen that whole container and taken it for myself and been set for the afternoon – or the week, really, because he said that’s how long it could last for. But there was work to be done, and as it turns out, many, many more pastries and delicious things to be eaten.

Before we made our first soufflé, we paused to drink our perfect French coffee. And while our soufflé was rising in the oven, we were treated to hot pain au chocolat straight from the kitchen of the French patisserie, Lenôtre. Crusty, brown, warm and with the perfectly crunchy essence of butter, the pain au chocolat would be just one, of the many, reasons to return to La Ferme. I can even respect Chef Alain for not attempting to make his own pain au chocolat or croissants, because really, why mess with something so perfect? Continue reading