Dining Out Magazine

Claude Lauxerrois’ Cheese Selection: Discover France on a Table

By Nogarlicnoonions @nogarlicnoonion
Anthony's Restaurant Rating: 80/100 X

Welcoming:8/10 Menu Choices: 8/10 Food Presentation: 8/10

Food Temperature: 9/10 Food Taste: 13/20 Service: 7/10

Ambiance/Music: 9/10 Architecture/Interior: 9/10 Air Quality: 9/10

Total: 80/100

If you love cheese then look out for Master Cheese Maker Claude Lauxerrois the next time he’s in Lebanon and indulge in your “formaggio food fantasies”. Master Cheese Maker Claude Lauxerrois is one of the most renowned Maître Fromager in France and he has traveled the globe, promoting delicious cheese products such as the well-loved Selles sur Cher, Reblochons and Camembert from his native country.

I have met Maitre Claude several years ago. He has visited Lebanon 14 times already and I personally admire his personality, nice humor and interesting selection of cheese. As soon as I knew that he was visiting again, I grabbed the opportunity to meet with him.

(Watch the video and enjoy the know-how this man has to offer)

Cheese addicts were in for a treat as he delighted guests with his unique gourmet and evocative cheese tasting session, all of which were paired by locally produced wines. “It’s my rule,” shared Claude Lauxerrois “Everywhere I go, my cheeses must only be sampled with local wines. Lebanon has some amazing wines of its own now, making this a most exciting prospect.”

Unfortunately tonight, the choices were not up to the standard. Out of 44 different wine producers and hundreds of different labels out there, the choice of Blanc de Blanc and Chateau Ksara 2009 were the best they could find?

Tonight’s event was a mix of fine preparations by Sydney’s chefs coupled with a selection of cheeses from Maitre Lauxerrois.


Sydney’s night ambiance:

The cheese tasting session began with mild goat cheeses, then moved to firmer, more piquant varieties like Comte (a cow’s-milk cheese similar to Gruyère) and finished with more robust offerings such as a Roquefort. There was also rarefied cheeses directly from France such as Camembert, Reblochon, Mont d’or, Langres, Maconnais, Ste. Maure, Deauvillais, Abbaye, Livarot, Brie de Meaux, Munster, Boulonnais, Comte, Cantal, Fondant d’Anjou, Selles sur Cher, Tomme, Beaufort and others…


Dinner prepared by Sydney’s chefs:

  • Black buttery truffle fine tartlet, smoked duck roll: A puff pastry covered with a layer of black truffle and decorated with a rolled piece of duck. This bite is too salty for my taste without finding a real feeling of truffles. The side mousse is way too creamy for a start dish and extremely heavy. I would have imagined the first impression to be different


  • Fresh ceps with wild asparagus, Manchego cheese and young leaves with truffle oil, salty crusted bread:  A fresh and attractive plate with interesting colors. Soft asparagus that slide gently under the teeth, rich ceps, an interesting flavor of the cheese and a tasty seasoning combining olive oil and lemon


  • Quail breast with soft cheese ravioli and dry apricot with cooking jus: I didn’t like the sweetness of the ravioli and it’s thickness that’s not up to the standard of a fine dining restaurant. As for the cooking jus, it lacks character. The quail are acceptable but too chewy with an unpleasant gelatin crunch. The meat that comes with it is warm/cold. Honestly, with no hard feelings, I expected much better from Sydney’s chefs specially after enjoying lunch few weeks ago…


  • Cheese was served without bread until we asked for it. We were offered a couple of square bread slices, gently toasted, served on a silver stand


  • Milk jam with black and white crisp macadamia praline: I loved the ice cream served in a consistent ball and covered with rich and crunchy macadamia nuts. The milk jam, presented in a closed jar is sweet and very well done. Both served with white and black homemade biscuits. That’s a good dessert.


The cheeses Maitre Lauxerrois brought with him from France this time:

  • Nuit d’Or
  • Munster, Alsace
  • Pont l’Eveque, Normandie
  • Langres, Champagne
  • Fondant d’Anjou
  • Reblochon, Haute Savoie
  • Set Maure, Touraine
  • Boulonnais
  • Charolais, Charolles
  • Butte de Doue, Ile de France
  • Livarot, Normandie
  • St Nectaire, Auvergne
  • Comte, Franche comte
  • Camembert, Normandie
  • Brie de Meaux, Ile de France
  • Fourme, Auvergne
  • Bleu d’Auvergne
  • Rochefort, Aveyron
  • Maroilles, Thierache


I loved at Sydney’s:
  • The thick gray table cloth and table setup
  • The fine musical background
  • The welcoming of the staff
  • The mix between modernism and old furniture combined
The minuses:
  • Is it acceptable to choose the cheapest of white wines at a fine dining event like this one? Don’t Maitre Lauxerrois cheeses deserve better?
  • White wine was not in a bucket. We had to drink it warm
  • Service can be much better. Or at least I expected better from Sydney’s. A lot of knowhow is missing
  • My last lunch experience was extraordinary… I hope that tonight’s food was simply a mistake

If maitre Lauxerrois visits again, I’ll be the first to attend, and you should to, enjoying some of France’s finest produces rare to find in our country.




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