Feb. 27, 2022, Triangle Bailliage – “Comfort food is the food that makes us feel good – satisfied, calm, cared for, and carefree. It’s food that fills us up emotionally and physically. … Finding comfort in food is a basic human experience.” – Ellie Krieger
When the Triangle Bailliage has the chance to host an event at one of our professional member’s establishments, it proves to be extra special. Sunday, Feb. 27 was such an event. We gathered to celebrate Carnival at Bodega Tapas, Wine and Rum with Executive Chef/Owner and Maître Rotisseur Serge Falcoz-Vigne’s elevated French Comfort Cuisine with a focus on foie gras that definitely made Triangle members feel cared for and satisfied in body and spirit.
Chef Serge crafted a five-course tasting menu that featured ALL the French comfort foods – foie gras, duck and cassoulet, which transported us to the French countryside. The last Sunday before Ash Wednesday provided a festive Mardi Gras theme; a fun celebration of life, involving the use of masks; and the most popular celebratory colors of purple, green, and gold.
Since moving to North Carolina from Paris in 2007, Chef Serge has continuously expanded upon and honed his skills at some of the best restaurants in the Triangle – 411 West in Chapel Hill, Raleigh’s 518 West, 18 Seaboard, and St. Jacques French Cuisine before taking over Bodega. Surrounded by a growing community of world-class chefs, this healthy competition pushes him to do more and be a better chef.
He draws parallels between French and Southern cuisine—that food is best when it combines simple ingredients into delicious flavors and takes time so it’s not rushed. Falcoz-Vigne’s passion for food comes through whenever he talks about gathering with friends and family around the table. This zest for and love of food were on display as we gathered in his restaurant for the culmination of all his years of work – a Chaîne event in a restaurant that is his.
The challenges that the past two years has brought to the hospitality industry did not shadow our event as Bailli Cameron Bridger and Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Rajiv Parikh offered bottle service to the Triangle’s guests, allowing the small staff to concentrate on service. The Triangle Bailliage Executive Board’s willingness to go above the call of duty has added a certain flair and comfort to our events this season.
The festivities kicked off with passed hors d’oeuvres of Serrano ham crostini with microgreens, pork rillette with cornichons, mango chipotle sautéed shrimp and seared tuna tortillas paired with free-flowing Champagne Pol Roger Brut (NV). The guests admired all the different masks and jewel tones on display as we gathered to celebrate life.
Chef Serge was very generous with his savory and creamy signature fois gras crème brûlée much to our delight. The Comme un Opéra of foie gras with apricot coulis was a unique, exciting dish and invited much discussion around the table. The elevated cassoulet with a duck confit paired with Château Combel la Serre, Cahors Le Pur Fruit du Causse 2019 was the epitome of warming and comforting cuisine. When presented with the pear, almond, and foie gras pie, we were curious as how the foie gras was integrated. He blew us away when he informed us that the foie gras was used like butter to make the crust. This innovation, with preparation, flavors and technique, is at the heart of a fabulous Chaîne experience.
As Chef Serge says, “Sharing the meal, sharing the moment, sharing the emotion around the table, it is a very nice thing”, and we wholeheartedly agree.
Photos: Courtesy of Sandy Mera Bridger, Chargée de Presse ProvincialCopyright © 2022, The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. All Rights Reserved.