Home Chennai Pate, minus the geese

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    With foie gras banished from our menus, hope comes in the form of Mango Hill’s line of gourmet spreads and meats

    FIVE years after the resort’s launch, the team behind Mango Hill in Auroville is ready with their cheese making workshop. It’s never too late, we think, given that the Mango Hill brand of cheeses is steadily developing a fan club across the country. Max Laederich, 29, says his chatty French cheesemaker and business partner, Marion Ducret, is responsible for this new initiative, which begins next month. At Rs.2,500, you learn to make five fresh cheeses – Cottage, Ricotta, Mozarella, Spiced and Mascarpone – get a tour of the small cellar and a tasting, plus a glass of wine. Not a bad bet, you said? Plus, they have added a new garlic gouda to their platter of eight varieties.
    Pass the meats
    Meanwhile, Max’s older brother, Francois, 31, has been busy too. In charge of the resort, and the fairly new La Plancha restaurant, his charcuterie menu features smoked and cured meats, fish and pates. While he seems averse to going commercial, Francois admits that expats and Chennaiites are already dropping by for a taste. Sold by the kilo and in small quantities as well (100 gms), you get smoked and marinated fish, pork rillette, country style pate, chicken liver pate and dried ham. The last is hard to resist and can be used in salads, or with butter, soya sauce and honey. Francois and his uncle, Olivier, enjoy the process of chatting with guests, while making a sale. There have been some disasters – some time ago, a couple sent the smoked fish back to the kitchen to be deep fried – but most are thrilled with the products. Francois says the ideal storage would be 12” C with less humidity. Guests prefer the country style pate for its texture and taste, observes Francois. The marlin and swordfish are used for the smoked fish, served as thin slices, with cottage cheese on a baguette. It is a hit at the restaurant, as are the tomato mozarella sandwiches. ‘‘We have huge, sweet tomatoes in our garden in January,’’ shares Francois, confiding that their avocado tree has just begun bearing delicious fruit. The pates, smoked fish and cured meats are priced from Rs.1,200 to Rs.2,500 per kg. 0413 2655491
    — Team Indulge

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