Save the Date: Croûte Off meets Beaujolais Nouveau at Maison François

By Valentine Benoist

In its third year, The Croûte Off award celebrates this beautiful French traditional recipe. But before we go any further, what on earth is Pâté en Croûte?! Literally “pâté in crust” in French, it refers to the way all the m​eat pâté used to be cooked, encased in the most delicious pastry.

Croûte Off meets Beaujolais Nouveau at Maison François

The crust used to serve as a baking vessel only, whereas you now eat it altogether, with a few cornichons on the side for a spark of acidity. It has been brought back on the London cool map a few years ago by chefs like Calum Franklin, who elevated the humble pâté to the state of art during his time at the Pie Room.

Maison François

On November 16th 2023 from 5.30 to 7.30pm, an impressive panel of respected food experts (Fay Maschler MBE, Loyd Grossman CBE, Matthew Fort, Ravneet Gill, Matt Tebbutt, Tom Parker-Bowles, Jimi Famurewa and France’s resident pâté en croûte expert and influencer Julien Perret) will gather at the Piccadilly smart French brasserie to judge the participating chefs.  

Competitors are invited to come up with their own take on the classic French dish. You can expect fun and creative versions from some of London and beyond’s best-in-class and most creative chefs like Florence Knight (Sessions Arts Club), Fred Smith (Flat Iron), Chris Leach (Manteca), Harneet Baweja (Gunpowder), Dom Hamdy (Crispin), Gabe Pryce & Missy Flynn (Rita’s), Max Rocha (Café Cecilia), Richard Corrigan (The Portrait), Oli Brown (Updown in Kent) and Sébastien Fillon (Le Bistrot de Pierrot in Vichy). 

© Maison Francois_Croute Off_Beaujolais Nouveau

Following the judging, slices of pâte en croute will be passed around for guests to enjoy alongside generous pours of Beaujolais Nouveau from Wine Director, Daniel Illsley. 

You’re left with two options: either book your ticket to attend the competition only, or go the extra mile and sit down to the Beaujolais Nouveau feast after that from 8pm until late, on its official launch day (every year on the third Thursday of November).  

If you so - and that’s what we’d go for obviously -, grab a welcome glass of Beaujolais Nouveau before sitting down to a four-course dinner rustled up for the occasion by head chef and former Masterchef finalist Matthew Ryle. You can expect the traditional menu of salad Lyonnaise, duck confit cassoulet, but also cheese and Beaujolais poached pears with almond ice cream. All of this washed down with the youngest, juiciest of sustainable Beaujolais wines to the best Fleurie, Morgo o Brouilly Villages, as well as a few Beaujolais whites. Santé! 


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