Intermezzo 3 - Bouchon Bakery

I really like Bouchon Bakery - they produce some of the best French breads and pastries this side of the Atlantic. Thomas Keller's obsession with perfection is embodied in the precision and consistency of their baked goods. I never miss an opportunity to pick up something from the bakery, even if it's something as simple as a strawberry-rhubarb macaron (my favourite), a croissant, or an éclair (see below). The delicate puffiness of their choux pastry and flavour of the whipped cream literally make Bouchon Bakery's Chantilly éclairs the cream of the crop (pun intended).

Chantilly éclair - Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA (2011)

The Restaurant at Rancho Valencia

Dinner - Sunday, May 15, 2011

Who would have guessed that such cutting-edge cuisine existed in the isolated and conservative San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe? Certainly not this uninformed diner - all the credit must go to Gourmands Review for the discovery. This was a surprisingly modern meal in the rustic, bucolic setting of the Rancho Valencia resort. Executive chef Eric Bauer (formerly of the local restaurant Anthology) and chef de cuisine Aaron Martinez (who has worked in the kitchens of Addison and In de Wulf) showed us the future of the dining program at Rancho Valencia, and it is lovely.