I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
Fine Food, Fantastic music, France France France
Food, music and culture is synonymous with the idealised image of France. The Francophiles of Adelaide have been seeking an opportunity to indulge in the picturesque idea of Paris and their opportunity has arrived in the form of La Soiree Cliché. This is an up-scale, cultured dinner that blends authentic and faux French styles. It mixes the delicious dishes and well-crafted flavours with the refined style and sound of France that we can picture in our minds.
The night is made up of a sit down, 3 course dinner designed by Cliché Exhibition's Executive Chef Fabien Streit. The courses present multiple options for whatever takes your fancy or to partake in a combination of different dishes. All dishes were served as share plates. The entrée was made up of Winklers wonderful potted duck pate (Duck liver parfait with accompaniments), Crepe au crevettes et homard (Prawn and lobster crepe with spice cream sauce) and Escargot brioche (Garlic butter snail and brioche).
Each dish in this set was exquisite, highlighting all the reasons France is known for food. The pate had a cool, distinctive and refreshing flavour. A taste that sticks in your mind for a time after. The escargot displayed France's penchant for glorious pastries. The brioche delights by being a perfectly fluffy dumpling around a well prepared snail. This was followed by 2 delectable mains. The Confit de canard (Confit duck leg on ratatouille and served with bacon potato) and the Cheeky estouffade de boeuf bourguignon (Red wine braised beef cheek with lardon, baby onion and mushroom sauce on potato puree). Both mains were splendid with each plate serving a different want and palette. The beef was slow cooked to a soft, pull-apart excellence where the duck was spiced to give an extraordinary and contrasting flavour with a proper ratatouille. Each dished served a different style of preparing meat to serve different tastes. Lastly was the dessert, a Tarte fine (Thin apple and frangipane puff pastry tart with calvados ice cream). Again this highlighted why France is known so well for its pastries. Incredibly tasty with a creamy ice cream. The flavours fuse to make this a dessert you want to eat again and again.
The food however was only really half the night. The other half the night was the entertainment dedicated to a Francophiles dream. Introduced by Emcee Maeve O'Meara from the popular SBS show, Food Safari. Maeve regaled the crowd with stories of her adventures in France and production tales of filming with other famous chefs in Paris. Maeve presented an honest picture of the characters and eccentricities of French culture.
The main musical performance of the night was Baby et Lulu. A duet made from Leonardo's Bride singer Abby Dobson (Baby) and producer Lara Goodridge (Lulu). Baby et Lulu are an Australian chanteuse duo who embrace the faux French feel. They performed a number of sets, charming and entrancing the crowd with wonderful tones and notes backed by a classy 3 piece band, creating an elegant and classically French sound. Baby et Lulu are an exaggerated performance, depicting the western image of the lovely and cheeky French duet. Fru-fru dresses and faux French accents abound as the duo sing, dance and have a whole lot of fun. Developing a light-hearted and fancy-free atmosphere. Baby et Lulu are the absolute group to chill out with a bottle of red and a croissant.
Playing between each set was "The Helsinki Enigma" DJ WiPod. Influenced by tres chic French beats DJWipod rolled out a playlist of light and rhythmic tunes to keep the mood high and complement the crafted dishes in front of us. While all of this was going on to one side of the room life was being made of life. What I mean is that renowned body painter Emma Hack was presenting a live body-painting inspired by her recent Bloom collection. Throughout the night she detailed her model and blended her into a lovingly expressive form. Emma currently owns her own gallery and Art bar at 52 Sturt St in the City. Here she displays pieces of her own art as well as local artists. The bar is open for viewing and drinks and will host multiple wine producer nights throughout the year.
La Soiree Cliché, as the title suggests, delved into what Adelaide typically loves about France. While that may be enhanced and inflated by our own ideals it still produces a fun, exciting and beautiful image of a country of peace, love and most importantly food. This event is a sell-out highlight of the Adelaide French Festival and expect it to make a return next year.