Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier
Yes, famous Gontran Cherrier is in town for the week and a really big thank you to Janet and Alexandra for the invite to this educational bread session. If you are still wondering who he is (like I did initially), he is actually the bubbly and humorous French pastry chef who owns Gontran Cherrier Paris and Tokyo (6 branches with some in well-known Shinjuku and Shibuya). Having such stellar records, this chef is definitely one to look out for and needless to say, the bread served that day was really fresh, fluffy and delicious. And in this session, he has turned our familiar laksa, sambal and char siew into delicious open sandwiches. Indeed, his passion for bread and the enthusiasm in new daring creations are indeed respectable.
And the other main session of the day was bread pairing. Take-home Tip no. 1: Your filling has to be heavier tasting than your bread. We have from the left: brioche, rye with miso paste and finally sourdough. And indeed, the sour dough tasted better with ham than the rye as it’s much lighter in taste. So then what should be paired with rye? And we got blue cheese which did pull through but not many would be able to take its pungent ammonia-like taste.
We started from the French ingredients and the one that I liked most was the sardine on fennel and raisin bread with a dash of refreshing lime. Not a big fan of sardine but this tasted fresh and delicious!
And then we went over to the exciting local delights. There’s char siew, sambal egg and laksa chicken with pesto and pine nuts.
The first creation was sambal eggs topped with a thick slice of char siew goodness together with some refreshing cucumbers and carrots. The spicy sambal will definitely excite your palates and it went really well with the mashed eggs while I thought the char siew only managed to add another dimension to the overall texture as its taste is overpowered by the sambal.
My favourite was this laksa chicken pesto with brioche. The thick aromatic coconut fragrance was accentuated by the buttery brioche while the chives added on top complemented the laksa taste by making it refreshing. This really caught my
eye taste buds and I really love it!
So at the end of the day, we were given a loaf each and I was lucky to have gotten the popular brioche! And I made a pretty delicious curry chicken brioche out of it! Should have accompanied some mashed eggs with it to make it taste more complete!
Yes, once again I would like to thank Gontran, Janet and Alexandra for this enriching experience once again and now I know how to pair my bread correctly. While the French ingredients may look simple, they are definitely addictive. And I am really looking forward to what Gontran will come up with for the local-French pastry/bun that may be added to the Tiong Bahru Bakery menu! If you would like to have a SAY in this, then remember to vote for your favourite local ingredient here! You may be one of the lucky few to meet Gontran at Tiong Bahru Bakery Raffles City this Saturday!