guest post – trusted guinea pig

IMG_2289Claude is a marvel, a delight and a law unto himself.  Even apart from being one of my favourite people – he is the consummate host.  Everything is impeccable, and yet it is still comfortable such that I don’t panic when the dinner party is at my house.  I suspect this is partly why it’s been so fun to throw a few curve balls at Claude through the MasterChef preparatory social events.  I’m allowed to admit to finding this fun because it still didn’t throw Claude off stride.  Green papaya?  Perfect – modernized slaws are a Claude specialty.  Kalamansi?  No problem – dressing it is.  (I still think it would have been interesting in the pana cotta, although I did adore the grapefruit and vanilla bean version.  And, as a side note, the kalamansi G&Ts is a worthwhile endeavour.)  Beef heart… a little pause, perhaps, but promptly off to trimming and prepping for rouladen, dill pickle and all.

I’ve been asked what I consider Claude’s specialties to be.  Instantly, I thought of champagne grape jelly, oven-hot pretzels, and themes of piquant salads and interesting cocktails… and then I stopped and realized I couldn’t think of any other dish I’ve had twice at Claude’s.  I admire his zest for trying new recipes and his skill at making them so deliciously (really with only one exception, and fresh sardines in Winnipeg are a bit of a challenge), and I am honoured to be a trusted guinea pig.

– Rachel L.

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