A night at the Liboson (page 2 of 2)Home >> Experiences
Du Marchie starts preparing the fondue. It is the only dish I cook, he explains, I'm just not into cooking. If I spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen a day, that'a already too much. For us a microwave dinner is all we need. As I heard the word 'microwave', I reach for my garlic plaid.
He brings some white wine to a boil and mixes it with pepper. That's his touch, explains Nicole. This is pepper from the desert, I buy it from the Bedouins when we go spend a month living with them, says Du Marchie, focused on the task.
I point out that pepper doesn't grow in the desert but in the jungle. Du Marchie stares at me coldly. Nicole sees the tension and intervenes delicately Indeed this pepper is grown somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the Nomads buy it and carry it through the desert. We buy it from the Bedouins in the desert, she says.
From time to time he adds a little more wine until all cheese is melted in a smooth fat-in-water emulsion.
Nicole comes and cuts the bread in large dices. The meal is almost ready.
When the pot is bubbling nicely and the surface is smooth, ...
... we all rush to the table, cleverly lit by a low hanging lamp that gives the place enormous intimacy. The huge table looks medieval but upon closer inspection, loads of names are carved on the surface. A school table maybe? The old-looking tin plates complete the look. Nothing is really medieval, but nothing looks fake. You feel that these furnitures have been made by hand and used for decades. Highly atmospheric.
Du Marchie gives the fondue one last whisk ...
... and we tuck in, placing a bread cube at the end of a long fondue fork, and dip it in the cheese emulsion until thoroughly coated. In Switzerland there is always a clift at any given fondue table - those who like pepper and those who don't. I love pepper, cracked black pepper, and always ask people at the table if they agree that we put some more in the soup. Well, not this time, plenty of delicious freshly cracked pepper «from the desert».
How to convey the convivial ambiance of sharing a fondue, with all guests eating from the same warm pot? How about two over-the-pot fondue panoramas? They are interactive if you have Flash installed (96% of browsers have Flash, in case of click but no bang just use the alternate Jpeg version, not quite the same thing though).
As we finish the pot, I ask du Marchie if I can have the bottom crust. He looks at Nicole, who says Well you can't really get any crust, I think. I ask if they mind if we try. Please be our guest, she says. While I increase the flame below the empty pot, John pours some white wine on the curst. After a few minutes, the crust starts to warp and john manages to pry it off. We offer some to the du Marchie but they really don't look tempted, It's burnt, explains Nicole. Not at all, this is the best bit, just brown but not black. John splits it in half and we eat it with relish.
From time to time, Paul du Marchie leaves the table to put another log in the huge fireplace or to action the with a gigantic forge bellows. I tell him that there are so many great things he could cook in such a fireplace, but he snaps To achieve anything in life you need to focus, and cooking has never been my thing.
I start talking organ music with Nicole and pulls out my Iphone to play some of my own favorite organ music. John Butt playing Pachelbel's Hexacordum Appolinis, Guy Bovet reviving the oldest playable organ in Valère with old scores by Giovanni Gabrieli. Finally Cléarambault's Dialogue sur les grands jeux seems to fill the kitchen from my palmtop as all stop speaking. Du Marchie seems very intrigued by the device - The quality is very good, he says.
Let's move to the room for an organ concert, says Nicole.
We follow her into the suite, where we sit down...
... while Nicole starts playing the organ.
Du Marchie built a system from scratch to take 3 dimensional pictures and display them backlit in a wooden box. He showed us mostly pictures of his former girlfriends in the desert, but the results are stunning, we a strong sense of depth. He has more than 700 pictures that he'll show you for a small fee (20 Swiss francs I think) if you call ahead.
We all have a good time while Nicole poured some hot water from a large copper kettle they bought from a Nomadic family in the Sahara.
Dessert was some bought ice cream, nice but not worthy of being featured on FXcuisine by itself. But you must agree that there is more than just food to a memorable meal!
Some time after midnight, we leave. Du Marchie lights us a torch and we start our kilometer-long walk across the pitch-black woods.
As we climb the path, we look back one last time on this eerie chalet glowing in the snow.
Christine leads the way across the dark woods and to the car. A most memorable evening.
Chalet le Liboson [leebohzon]