My Petit Déjeuner (mon breakfast)

My Petit Déjeuner (mon breakfast)

petit dej

I have to share my enthusiasm for my breakfast. I even think about what I am going to eat for breakfast before falling asleep! And I got an acute case of breakfast obsession since my good friend Chef Pierre Landet gave me a jar of his homemade divine plum jam. Pierre is executive chef at the NYC Tribeca restaurant Cercle Rouge. He made the jam with his mother’s recipe for a very special occasion that we will discuss another time. But let me tell you about my breakfast routine, indeed a routine because the format is always the same, only the fruit and the topping of the bread vary.
I wake up early, make myself a cup of tea and get into my daily yoga practice. These days I am brewing a “Russian Caravan” tea from the Park Slope Food Coop. This pleasantly dry & flowery blended Chinese tea gets my taste buds off to a right start. When I am done with tea and practice, I make coffee; always organic and always light roast (also called American roast). I usually get whatever is on sale in that category at Porto Rico Importing Co. I like that company, their quality is consistent and their prices fair. Do not ever offer me French Roast coffee, I will turn it down, I dislike it with a passion, i consider it an aggression to my taste buds!


Nicole’s Tartine à la Confiture de Prune de Pierre Landet
(recette Madame Landet mère!)

Anyhow, while coffee is percolating I toast my thick slices of rye bread and I eat a seasonal piece of fruit. I either get the Pain de Seigle from Balthazar or Amy’s Organic Miche at the Park Slope Food Coop. They both are a combination of wheat and rye organic flours, I find the Balthazar crustier and more complex, the taste stays in your mouth long after you have eaten the piece. Then, before the toast is cold but not while it is too hot, I apply a thin coat of either pasture butter, or Ben’s cream cheese or fresh goat cheese followed by the careful and even spreading of the sweet toping.
Pierre’s jam arrived at a really good time; I had just finished my special jar of raw honey made by my friend & Bourg d’Oueil mentor Joseph Garcès. So Pierre’s luscious plum jam provided not only the gusto satisfaction but also the emotional ingredient missed from Joseph’s honey. Voilà ze story:

Chef Pierre Landet

Pierre Landet is from the Toulouse region, but his brother Benoit & wife Laurence own the Hotel-Restaurant Le Faisan Doré in my hometown of Luchon (you know the center of the Pyrenées and possibly the center of the world!). It is my brother Jean-Louis’ favorite hang out and mine too when I am in town.

Pierre is a great chef, he cooks genuine Southwestern French country food. His homemade patés and terrines are outstanding, especially his Terrine de Foie Gras which is out of this world. I also have a soft spot for his funny chicken wings, the REAL French fries and I have to mention the stuffed suckling pig; that is a fire work of flavors and texture.

But let’s return to my tartine (though it is a French specialty to talk about a past or future meal while eating); the very slightly caramelized plum jam, flavored with vanilla and brandy, became a marriage in heaven when it encountered the crunchy, but still moist bread. I usually have 2 slices but sometimes I need 3 to complete the ritual properly!

Alright, merci to Pierre Landet pour la confiture and merci to his maman! It is quite late I must go to bed, tomorrow is the 2nd Bay Ridge Farmer’s market and I have to go early, last week it was all sold out by 11am! I have to make sure I can have breakfast without rushing! I forgot to mention that I really don’t like having breakfast out, nothing beats my petit-déjeuner bi-continental!

Ah! and in case you wonder:
YES, I dunk my tartine into my coffee!

オムライス Omu-Rice

オムライス  Omu-Rice

phot by Chiaki

オムライス Omu-Rice
—photo by Chiaki Matsumoto—

Omu-Rice stands for omelet & rice. I had my first taste of Omu-Rice on Tuesday night at Tokyo Bar in Tribeca (NYC). I was brought there by my good friend Chiaki Matsumoto documentalist & filmaker. We had dinner with Kenji Hayasaki, also filmmaker and artistic manager of the Tokyo Bar. Omu-rice is part of Yoshoku food (食), which means Japanese style Western food, while Washoku food (食) is traditional style Japanese food.
According to a New York Times article writen by Norimistu Onishi and published March 26, 2008:

Yoshoku was born during Japan’s Meiji Restoration, the period that followed this isolationist country’s forced opening by America’s so-called Black Ships in 1854. Japanese were dispatched to Europe and America to learn about Western laws, weapons and industry. They also brought back the cuisine. Shocked to discover how much shorter they were than Westerners, Japanese determined that they would catch up not only economically and militarily but also physically, by eating their food.

There is several version of Omu-Rice but the most consensual recipe tends to be the following one :
Fry (already cooked rice) rice with onions, peppers, ketchup, chicken & mushrooms. Then wrap the rice in a thin omelet. Ketchup and sometimes demi-glace go on top.
I am glad that Chiaki & Kenji didn’t tell me anything about the dish until it came because I would have been very suspicious. This combination sounded heavy & my French upbringing —sometimes unconscious— does not register omelet & rice as a possible combination. It was truly delicious and comforting, and brought back some memories.

My grandfather, Chef Joseph Peyrafitte, who cooked in England in the early 1900 , brought back ketchup & Savora to our Pyreneen hometown. I never saw him use ketchup for any of the dishes at our family restaurant, however he always had a bottle hidden somewhere and when he wanted to win me over he made me a big plate of coquillettes (little macaroni) mixed with ketchup and topped with grated gruyère!

So if you want to try Japanese comfort food dishes, Tokyo Bar is the place. The ambiance and the decor are are aso various events and various djs spin on regular basis. I still have to return to try the Japanese pasta dish : 小ヤリイカと辛子明太子のフェデリーニ or Fedelini w/squid & spicy cod roe and the Tokyo Curry 東京カレー.

A bientot & sayonara

Events 09/11 & 09/14

Events 09/11 & 09/14

Getting ready to go to Albany to see my family but also looking forward to gig with Mike Bisio the grand bassist & composer extraodinaire on Thursday Sept 11 @ Justin’s 9PM.

We will perform mostly originals, contemporary poetry and maybe our signature song or is it a dish? Pierre Joris posted two videos of Mike and I on his blog. Speaking of Pierre, he and I will be part of a celebration I am very much looking forward to:

At the Bowery Poetry Club, Sunday, September 14, 4:00 to 6:00PM

Jerome Rothenberg will be hosting a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Technicians of the Sacred, which brought a global range of oral & tribal poetry into focus & launched ethnopoetics as a new approach to poetry & performance. Joining him will be a group of active poets & performers including Charles Bernstein, Bob Holman, Pierre Joris, Charlie Morrow, Nicole Peyrafitte, Diane Rothenberg, Carolee Schneemann, & Cecilia Vicuña. (Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, between Houston & Bleecker, in NYC.)
Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania, Second edition, Revised and Expanded

and for the new French edition,

5C Café this Saturday

5C Café this Saturday

This Saturday, June 14th 8PM Mike Bisio and I will be at the 5C Café in Manhattan for a multilingual & multigenre performance. We will offer a selection of my originals, contemporary poetry/texts by Pierre Joris, Henri Michaux, Frida Kahlo, Occitan songs and our signature song…or is it a dish? See details below and spread the news!

Café 5C – 68 Avenue C at 5th street. New York City
(delicious light fares + teas, coffee, beer & wine available)
(212) 477-5993

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