Kitchen Stories – Joffrey Divet at French Martini
Joffrey Divet’s struggle to commit a favourite recipe to paper has little to do with the language barrier between French and English. Rather, he frowns and hesitates in the same way you or I might if asked to explain how to breathe. “Flour – one big spoon. Well, maybe two? It’s difficult, because, you know – habit. Normally I just use my eyes,” he apologises.
Joffrey long ago abandoned precise measurements during his gruelling discipleship in the brigade de cuisine system, which, through its emphasis on direct instruction, continues to underpin France’s central place in Western culinary culture. Inspired by an elder brother working in Paris’ famous Ritz Hotel, Joffrey entered the profession at age sixteen. During the following nine years he worked his way across haute cuisine’s heartland, learning the unique culinary traditions of places ranging from Cap d’Agde on the sunny Mediterranean coast to the snowbound Alpine slopes of Val d’Isère.
Today, however, Joffrey recalls his time at Michelin-starred restaurant Le Chat Botté in the Atlantic seaboard region of L’Île de Ré as his most important influence. During three years of exacting tutelage there, Joffrey absorbed a century’s worth of specialist expertise with seafood.
“The head chef there was sixty-three years old, his mother before him cooked there for eighty-seven years, and his grandmother before her. Very hard. But very good for learning.”
While such unique credentials may give his recent arrival in seafood-obsessed Queensland the appearance of kind destiny, Joffrey firmly intends to bring all the many facets of his experience to the menu at French Martini. Little Stanley Street diners will surely soon come to appreciate this commitment, as well as the simple philosophy behind the impressive skills.
I am always thinking of the customer. After lunch, after dinner, I want the customer to leave happy, every time.
|2 duck legs, whole
200g rendered duck fat
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
5 sprigs parsley, chopped
150g parmesan, gratedSAUCE:
Duck leg bones (leftover from main dish)
½ leek, diced
1 onion, diced
3 tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp flourBouquet garni – 2 whole sprigs thyme, rosemary, parsley and 1 bay leaf bound together with kitchen twine
|Place duck legs in casserole dish lined with duck fat. Cover dish with foil. Cook 6 hours in oven at 80°C. Remove bones, reserve in large pot. Dice flesh and reserve.Boil potatoes until soft but not mushy. Strain, place in large bowl. Add milk, 150g butter, 2 eggs (yolk only), mash together well and let stand. Place diced duck flesh, chopped parsley and garlic in small bowl and mix.Place 4 cooking rings on baking tray. In each ring, sandwich a layer of duck flesh mix between layers of potato mix. Cover top layers with parmesan. Cook 7 minutes in oven at 200°C.