The Berkshires Blog

Learning From a Culinary Artist – Berkshire Girl Around Town

Chez-NousDuring the winter months, local French bistro, Chez Nous Bistro hosts wonderful culinary experiences that both tantalize the taste buds and expand the culinary palette. Every Thursday night at the Bistro, the chef/owners bring the kitchen into the dining room, to delight guests with their Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink! Each week features a differently themed demonstration. I recently noticed the theme entitled, “Those Pesky Vegetarians,” I knew (being one of those ‘pesky vegetarians’!) that it was calling to me.

With reservations made, I headed to downtown Lee a bit early, to do some holiday shopping I made a quick stop at The Starving Artist Creperie and Cafe for a cappuccino to keep me warm then ventured onto Main Street. I popped into an antique store, Finders Keepers, if you haven’t visited them yet, you certainly should, as the store is full of fabulous finds. I browsed several more stores and then stopped into Karen Keenan Gifts and Home where I am always sure to find a few gifts for my loved ones (and maybe myself).

From there, I made my way to Chez Nous, where I was graciously greeted by the co-owner/pastry chef, Rachel Portnoy. As I was the last to arrive, she showed me to my table, which I would be sharing with a wonderful woman who was staying at Kripalu and had discovered the Chez Nous event, because she had been looking for a vegetarian dinner in town.

As soon as I was seated, wait staff brought around a platter of Mushroom Walnut Pate, along with a couple of different wines to enjoy with the meal. The co­owner/chef Franck Tessier described how it was made, and presented us with a sheet of recipes, which included the pate. The next course was a Vegetable Tian, which was a luscious layered dish on a bed of delectable beer gravy. Describing ingredients and techniques as he went, the chef had everyone in the group laughing and enjoying every bite. Next came a tasty gratin dish and then a seasonal dessert of a pumpkin spice cake with a pear compote. When the dinner was over I was full of wine and good food, had made a new friend and enjoyed another wonderful night at this establishment. I look forward to attending another Manger! Boire! Eat! Drink! in the very near future!