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Provençal menu inspired by Cezanne

19 June 2017, by Anne Aitken, Marketing and Projects Director

Cezanne painted some of his most famous paintings in Provence – a region of France famous for its fresh and flavoursome food. Colourful, tasty and satisfying, Provencal cuisine resembles Greek, Italian and Spanish food more than traditional French fare. To complement the National Portrait Gallery’s incredible Cezanne exhibition which opens in October, we’re taking some of the most iconic Provençal ingredients and giving them a JG twist.

Mediterranean food relies on stunning ingredients to deliver its big, bold flavours. Our own food philosophy has always been to source the most beautiful, quality ingredients from responsible suppliers so we’re excited to be working with both local and European suppliers to ensure our Cezanne canapé, bowl food and dinner plates are both delicious and authentic. For a full-on Provencal event, we are also offering clients a “Traditional Provençal Market Experience” with food stalls brimming with traditional hot and cold food-to-go.

Think overflowing baskets of apples, pears and cherries, huge wooden bowls of olives, marinated garlic and roasted almonds, tapenades, fresh warm bread, hot herby roasted potatoes and rotisserie chicken, cheese stalls filled with cow, sheep and goats cheeses, Iberio hams sliced on the spot and dessert stations piled high with mountains of hand-made nutty nougat, rich dark chocolate gateaux and freshly made fruit salads.

Our canapés will be served on olive wood and slate platters, craft basket ware and traditional Mediterranean tableware.  We’ll be treating guests to tasty delicacies like scallops and chorizo in hand-made pastry shells, caramelised fresh fig, red pepper and lime mascarpone bruschetta and lobster sliders with mini brioche and aïoli. Bowl food options will include warm asparagus risotto with parmesan shavings and a crisp fresh tuna niçoise with olives, tomatoes, quail’s eggs and capers. And for dinner how about starting with roasted sea bass on samphire with a lemon beurre blanc, followed by marinated lamb with spiced couscous and roasted aubergine followed by a warm pear tarte tatin drizzled with salted caramel served with fig and honey chantilly cream and a caramel tuile.

And to drink? Our Cezanne wine list will obviously include a good selection of Côtes de Provences rosés and some spicy full-flavoured reds but we’ll also be raiding our Aperitif cupboard to mix up some evocative combinations. We’re thinking Aperol, Martini and maybe even a splash of Campari…