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Amuse Bouche, literately translating as pleasing the palate, are one-bite size finger food usually served in French restaurant before the meal. A practical way to reduce waste at parties.
Saturday the 14th of January, I was commissioned by Mr Joseph le Chapelain, Mayor of Saint Paul de Vence, to provide canapés for 100 guests, for the “Mayor’s Wishes for 2017” speech.
The event was held at Saint Paul de Vence Auditorium at 11am. After the Mayor’s speech, canapés and local wine from Saint Paul de Vence were served outside in the terrace.
This is the Cote d’Azur, and the 14th of January was a beautiful sunny day with a pleasantly crisp temperature.
I was asked to make a copious but not overly lavish buffet, with a plate of crudités to accompany the canapés.
I wanted to offer nibbles that would meet everybody’s tastes, and made with fresh ingredients.
So to offer a suitable menu, I followed these guidelines:
I used all typical Mediterranean ingredients with plenty of onions and tomatoes which are abundantly used here in the region.
I combined those vegetables with cheese, ham and anchovies, very Nicoise.
Due to the large number of people, I wanted to have food that was easy to pick and eat.
Amuse Bouche are one-bite size canapés and can be served with a simple serviette and do not require the use of small dishes.
I found it much more practical.
While one hand is busy holding the drink, the other hand remains free, so you can pick and eat as needed.
I am always conscious of the environment, my aim is to keep waste to the minimum.
Hence, I like to serve the amuse bouche on reusable black trays, baskets or wooden bowls.
In addition the table looks homely, warm and stylish.
Providing 100 people with easy access to the amuse bouche, the table display is very important.
Therefore, I like to have multiple points with the same dishes so people do not have to reach different sides of the table to try a different serving.
I displayed the same food on both sides of the central table and the crudités as a central place that could be reached from each side.
To reduce waste, I like to use edible decorations.
On this occasion, I used the plat de crudités as a centrepiece, mixing and matching the colour and flavour of the vegetables.
From a basket cornucopia, I dropped cherry tomatoes on the tray creating movement and adding texture to the centrepiece.
I positioned a panelled display at the centre of the table to list the type of amuse bouche and their ingredients.
In case some guests had dietary restrictions due to food allergies or intolerance, they could check the food components and eat accordingly.
How I choose the menu:
Pizza is an obvious choice for a canape as it satisfies the taste of many.
Though while the classic pizza is best eaten warm, the Pizza Campofranco can be eaten at room temperature so it is a better option for buffet.
It is easy to transport and can be cut in small sizes
I wanted to offer a classic local speciality with an Italian twist.
The typical Pissaladier Nicoise is usually cooked in a rectangular shape which is then cut in small slices.
By cooking it directly in small bite sizes (like the Italian pizzette), they can be easily picked up from the sides with no onion dropping on the fingers.
Mélange des crudités
It is always nice to have plenty of crudités in a canapé, people love them and they give plenty of colour to the table.
I did not serve any dips due to the spread of flu across the region.
Because of the large crowd, we wanted to keep the risk of infection to a minimum.