The gorgeous French Chef Ben Bailly calls me his American “Auntie”. If I were 20 years younger (I’m 46) I’d be seriously offended by this, but in all honesty…. I LOVE IT.
I met the 28-year-old chef back in October 2009 at Petrossian in West Hollywood, and at first mistook him for our server. Before eating at the restaurant, I read that Ben had previously worked at various Robuchon kitchens around the world, so I just assumed he was much older.
Well, ever since that first dinner of caviar-stuffed steak tartare and foie gras creme brulée, I have praised, tweeted and done my best to support his craft.
In November, Chef Bailly took over the kitchen at Fraiche restaurant in Culver City and I couldn’t wait to check out his new playground. His new dishes (and creative freedom) made his “Auntie” so very proud indeed!
We started the evening beautifully with this St. Tropez Cocktail, made with Hendricks gin, lime, lavender oil, and a cucumber ice cube
Hamachi Tartare, Shaved Turnip, Lime, Espelette Pepper
Vitello Tonnato: Veal Steak Tartare, Arugula, Parmesan
Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo, Dates, Almonds, Manchego Cheese and Piquillo Vinaigrette
Belgian Endives: Coppa, Apple, Pecans, Goat Cheese, Truffle Vinaigrette
Baby Beets: Mizuna, Ricotta, Orange, Pistachio
Taglierini Neri, Maine Lobster, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil
Bucatini Carbonara, Slow Poached Egg, Pancetta, Parmesan
Soft Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and a Slow Poached Egg
House Made Agnolotti: Wild Mushrooms with Mascarpone and Truffle Butter
Crispy Loup de Mer, Sunchokes Soubise, Crosnes, Salsifi, Mushrooms, Bordelaise
Wine pairing by the charming (and informative) Sommelier Paul Sanginetti
Truffle Burger, Onion Fondue, Boschetto, Truffle Aioli, Egg
Chocolate Coulant with Toffee and Peanut Butter Ice Cream (this just warmed my heart…. THANK YOU BEN!)
After dinner tour: Ben showing me the secret vault below the restaurant!
Many, many more Fraiche photos including behind-the-scenes, wine and smiles!
Dinner shared with Peter and the lovely Kate Green on 12/12/10
Fraiche Restaurant (This restaurant is now closed)
9411 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Chef Ben Bailly on Twitter
Fraiche on Twitter
Fraiche on FaceBook
Chef Ben Bailly at Petrossian
All photos of Chef Ben Bailly