Georges Larnicol, Pastry Chef and Recipient & Best Craftsman, France
A group of influencers from the UAE and wider Middle East region have starred in the second series of the popular Butter Tours! campaign, which depicts the journey of French butter from farm to table
Chefs and bloggers from across the Middle East were invited by the European Union and the French Dairy Board (CNIEL) to participate in the second series of a four-part YouTube mini-series showcasing the finest traditions of French butter making.
This series of short films documents the journey of butter from farm to table and follows the gastronomic escapades of the group as they visit farms, meet chefs and culinary experts, and indulge in masterclasses – all while taking in the breathtaking and refreshing countryside of France. The group also documents their visits to some of the finest restaurants in Nantes and Paris, where they experience the quality of exquisite food through flavours straight from the farm.
The series begins at one of France’s famous organic farms, where the milking process is outlined and where farmers purposefully keep the cows happy and relaxed to create a better-tasting milk that can be used in making butter.
Suad Shamma of Lady Spatula blog fame said: “I was impressed by France’s dairy production and the work being done to preserve biodiversity. It was truly touching to see how much care goes into the cows and keeping them happy so that we can have fresh and natural ingredients on our plates.”
Making butter, whereby the milk is churned and then matured, forms an integral part of the short films. Speaking about the process, Chef Mohamad Chabchoul, Executive Chef at Grand Millennium Business Bay Dubai, said: “I couldn’t believe how easy it was and quick to produce delicious butter, with the highest health and safety standards being followed – we were covered and sanitised from head to toe!”
The relationship between farmers and chefs is also highlighted through the YouTube series, with inspirational Michelin star Chef Mathieu Perou, whose menu is an ode to produce sourced from local farmers and land, said: “If you do not have good ingredients, you simply will not have a good dish”.
Mathieu is not alone in the journey to sustainable gastronomy, as outlined by renowned pastry chef and recipient of the Best Craftsman of France Georges Larnicol. The gourmands had the opportunity to participate in a butter masterclass to create the classic Breton pastry, Kouign Amann, using the finest quality ingredients.
TV chef and food influencer Chef Wadad Zarzour described the experience; she said: “When you bite into a perfectly made Kouign Amann, you will find the combination of sweet and salty, paired with buttery and flaky, crispy pastry – what’s not to like?”
France is blessed with a rich terroir, with farmers continually building on their experience of making butter and maintaining its consistent quality. Throughout the years, it has enriched the dishes of celebrated chefs and become an integral part of French gastronomic culture and a golden element in almost every recipe.
Saudi chef Khulood Olaqi said: “There is a whole, healthy ecosystem surrounding butter. It was magnificent to see how people worked together to get this ingredient from farm to table.”
Blogger Zahra Abdalla added: “This trip was a celebration of what French cuisine is all about quality ingredients with simple recipes that end up as something spectacular.”
In the final episode of the series, Chef Chabchoul brings his knowledge and love of butter to Dubai, where he visits several resident chefs to find out how they use butter in their kitchens and helps prepare a range of amazing savoury and sweet recipes.
To view this mouthwatering culinary tale of the golden ingredient butter, check out the videos on YouTube.