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A Culinary "Kiss" at Bezu Restaurant

December 9, 2009

By Judith Mazza, Vice Chargée de Presse of the Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.

What better way could there be for the Washington DC Bailliage to end a year of culinary delights, but with a delicious kiss! Chef/Owner, Dennis Friedman and his partners, Maître de Table Restaurateur Eddie Benaim and his wife, Lydia Benaim, hosted the Bailliage of Greater Washington, D. C. in fine style at their Potomac Restaurant, Bezu, named for the French word for “kiss.” Chef Friedman, known for his French-Asian fusion cuisine, artfully used classic French techniques with ingredients from throughout the Pacific Rim to create new and exciting taste combinations.

Tucked away in Potomac, Maryland, Bezu is a jewel of a restaurant and, once inside, you find yourself in an opulent exotic bistro where ingredients and creativity shine. As confreres arrived, we were greeted with Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier NV and three fabulous passed appetizers: seared Hudson Valley foie gras with caramelized onions, Hamachi tartar and crispy bay scallops with ginger black bean puree and Thai chili sauce. Long-time Chaîne members, Chevalier Gene Shugoll and his wife Joan Shugoll greeted Dames de la Chaîne Mary Kleiman and Peggy Smith as they enjoyed the appetizers with Vice Chargée de Presse Judith Mazza and Allan Kam. The first course of shrimp and scallop over celery root puree with a Parmesan-edemame crisp served with the Pinot Blanc Domaine Marcel Deiss Bergheim Alsace 2005 was enjoyed by Chevalier Holcomb Thomas and his wife, Seyoung. The second course of pan-seared sea bass over Japanese udon noodles and veal demi-glace was a focus of conversation by many including Vice Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Reinhard Danger, Pamela Danger and Chevalier Edmund Spivak and his wife Mary Kathleen Ernst as they sipped the Viognier Edward Sellers Paso Robles California 2006. Bailli Paul Haar welcomed the confreres and guests were introduced including Chef Roberto Donna and his wife, Nancy, Vice Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire Claude Amsellem, Jon and Louise Harkavy and Greg and Ann Schwartz.

The third course was a dramatic presentation of veal tenderloin with a Macadamia nut crust, Okinawan sweet potato and a curved plantain chip. The pairing of the Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes Domaine Harmand-Geoffroy Burgundy 2002 was delightful as noted by Chevalier T.J. Jubier and his wife Julia and newlyweds Chevalier John Boyer his wife Maryam. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot, his daughter Clarice and Chevalier Anthony Ramdass were in lively conversation with Anna and Robert Trone and Professionnel du Vin Heidi McLain. The fourth course of a braised Meyer short rib and seared Meyer tenderloin was unctuous and paired perfectly with the Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos Toro Prima 2003.

We awaited dessert but knew there was a surprise coming. It was Chevalier Daniel Silva’s birthday and he had invited his family to the dinner. He didn’t know that Chef Friedman had prepared a special dessert for him and his guests: Magdala Silva, Shaina Silva and Fritz, Carolyn and Gladys Racine. Bailli Honoraire Len DePas joined in the celebratory singing.

Chef/Owner Dennis Friedman and his staff came out from the kitchen to a round of applause. Vice Conseiller Culinaire Francois Dionot spoke of the Asian/French fusion cuisine that we had all just experienced. He said that Chef Friedman had used flavor and ingredient combinations that had never thought of and that the dishes were flawlessly executed while creating new and wonderful tastes. All in attendance could not have agreed more.

As we all enjoyed the fifth course of poached pear with Cognac ganache, served with the Grenache Helyos Banyuls Rhone 2003, we reflected on what a lively and delightful time we had…indeed Bezu was the perfect beginning to the holiday season.

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