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La Cuisine de Bernard’s contests

Catégorie : Uncategorized

First competition: December 2010
Winners ex-aequo: Cybione and Jux

First contest on “Bernard’s Kitchen”!  Hotels.com has just contacted me to make a contest that aims to make one of my readers win two vouchers worth 100 € each! And for those who wonder, no I do not touch a cent in this game! It’s all for you! So come and find out how to participate! Just answer the question in this post… The winner, by his answer, will be chosen by some friends who will help me and myself! Come quickly to discover how to participate because the winner will be chosen on December 18th and the vouchers must be used before the 22nd…! 

To win this contest, simply answer the following question:

“What is your best and worst culinary experience ever in France or abroad?”

Just leave your answer in the form of a comment (below) signed with a pseudonym (that all readers of the blog will know). Immediately afterwards, send another message, by e-mail, to the following address:  so that I can identify and contact the winner. 

You must leave your answer HERE (in the comments) AND by mail to confirm your nickname! 

The funniest, most original or creative answer will be elected! 

Here are some clarifications on these vouchers: 

– The vouchers are valid until December 22, 2010, (the winner must book before December 22, 2010, but can travel until March 21, 2010).

– The vouchers are digital codes sent directly to the winner by email. 

– The 2 vouchers cannot be used together for the same reservation. However, they can be used on Winter Promotions, sales and discounts.

– The winner will be chosen by December 18, 2010.

– The winner must reside in France.

– The vouchers can be used to book stays in France or abroad (in all countries where Hotels.com has hotels listed). There are still some exceptions which are listed in the terms and conditions, see below.

According to regulations in force T&C Hotels.com


Mafaldrela said…

Mafaldrela: Worst experience: green papaya gratin in Guadeloupe. The best experience: The butternut-chestnut purée tasted at the Quinzième.

December 13, 2010 21:52 

Anonymous said…

Maïté: The worst experience was in France in a gastro where we chose hot oysters with almond powder as a starter! The best experience was in Thailand: the famous Tom kah gaï tasted in a small unpretentious restaurant!

December 13, 2010 22:20 

Anonymous said…

cloclobzh: the worst memory: in England a pot au feu without vegetables the best memory: a beautiful Breton cake in Germany with a postcard on the table the earth, the water the fire

December 13, 2010 23:28 

Clémence said…

Best experience: an unexpected dessert in a small hostel in Cyprus. A scoop of vanilla ice cream enclosed in a kind of honey donut. I always wondered how they made it because the dessert is served hot. A marvel, I will go back just for that. Worst memory: in Thailand last summer, a wonderful and steaming dish arrived, unfortunately, the cook had left some hair. It totally chilled me, I left.

14 December 2010 00:05 

Nathalie and Gilles said…

The worst? A “Made in France” meal in London : frozen vegetables not cooked, meat without sauce, in the purest tradition… British? The best one? St Malo : a tarte Tatin… Words are not enough to reveal the sensations discovered that day…

December 14, 2010 06:16 

ana said…

My father always wanted us to eat everything and that day, we had to taste with my sister the lamb brain…very hard! I couldn’t swallow it and I stayed at the table until 3pm to finish my plate, square inch by square inch! I still remember it and today I definitely don’t eat brains anymore! I’m not saying that this method didn’t work for other foods…but not for lamb brains, it remains the worst memory of my long culinary experience!

December 14, 2010 07:23 

Cécile said…

My best and worst culinary memories revolve around tomatoes: – the worst is a pizza in Katherine (in the Darwin region of Australia) during our honeymoon: hungry from a day of walking and swimming in the JimJim Falls, we ate it anyway, but it is engraved in our memory as the worst pizza of our lives! (thick and uncooked dough, chemical and industrial toppings, pizza stuck to the cardboard…) – the best one is a dinner at the Clos des Cimes (at Régis M.’s place), which started with a tomato and strawberry candy. This little amuse bouche marked the beginning of a wonderful and unforgettable meal!

14 December 2010 08:53 

Jux said…

I am passionate about cooking and yet there are some FUNDAMENTAL things I don’t like, but then not at all. It is probably a question of education, but time does not do its work at this level and the capitalist blockages remain very present. Among my most terrible phobias are garlic and onions. The fear of finding myself side by side with Dracula biting into a raw garlic clove haunted many of my nightmares and cast a dark light on a passage of my boarding school life when I was 14 years old. As a student in a convent of nuns, I had “sneaked out” one evening with my friends but being in the countryside the interest to go out was reduced and we found ourselves in the nuns’ vegetable garden. Looking for something silly to do, a friend grabbed a bulb of raw pink garlic, quickly peeled it and bit into it. Each one in her turn then mechanically repeated the initiatory rite until it was my turn to do the same thing… No personality this teenager…The 5 minutes that followed were terrible and my cries of disgust almost woke up the whole boarding house in addition to the sisters. I have a terrible memory of it, accompanied by palpitations at 1,000 times an hour and my breath still remembers it! On the other hand, I discovered less than 6 months ago the joy of cooking entrements. Layer after layer, I feast my eyes and my stomach by preparing the cake several days in advance. Looking for the Holy Grail of this dish, I searched the net and came across your site and found The “Pistache Macaron Cake”. My mixer didn’t survive the making of the pistachio paste, probably jealous of knowing that he wouldn’t taste this dessert, but I enjoyed it like never before, discovering the alternation of crunchy macaroon, sweetened flaky praline and soft cream like a cloud on a mountain lake; all topped with a pistachio fondant and colored with an almond green worthy of the sweetest laundry ads. An XXL memory to be repeated without moderation. Well, when I get a new blender…

14 December 2010 09:28 

Caroleninon said…

My worst culinary memory goes back to 1988, I was 16 years old, and I went for 3 weeks to a family in New Zealand, I hated the breakfasts with big slices of toasted bread covered with peanut butter, the smell of grilled bacon and eggs in the morning. The lunches and dinners were no better. I only dreamed of Mac Do so I could eat without wincing. For the best, it goes back to a very long time, I was 9 years old (I am 38 now), it was in Senegal, the discovery of the tiéboudienne, sitting around the dish on the ground, eating with the hands, in a tribe with Senegalese children. I have many other nice memories but this one is so engraved that it seems like yesterday.

December 14, 2010 09:42 

david said…

Hello, the worst culinary experience I remember is a bat paté in the seychelles. As these nice bugs only eat mangoes, I had the impression to taste a sweet and salty mango terrine! And the best memory, or at least the most beautiful surprise, is this summer in Scotland. I had a very French a priori on the Scottish cooking and more particularly on the Haggis which is a dish surrounded of mystery mixed with a feeling of disgust….. Well, it is delicious. It’s fine, it has nothing to envy to our national Hachis parmentier (it’s from the word “Hachis” that the word “Haggis” comes). It’s fragrant, not fatty, not heavy and quite adapted to furnish a visit to the whisky distilleries!

December 14, 2010 10:48 AM 

Titine said…

he worst : coming from the North, my great grandfather used to eat every friday night cooked “beaten milk” (the whey that remains when butter is made) as a soup and my 2 sisters and I had to stir in the pot by pinching our nose until it boiled ! as I was small, I was 6 years old, I was climbed on a stool to reach the pot (hello safety) but it was so horrible this sour smell that none of us devoted herself to replace the other one! the day when we let overflow, it was the final bouquet! 50 years later we still have the smell in our nostrils when we talk about it! the best: the fried egg of love … my young husband, full of good intentions, prepares me the breakfast in bed one Sunday morning with a fried egg and bacon….hum!!!! except that he had never cooked in his life (and since then he has definitely given up) and that the egg was so overcooked and stiff that I could have bitten into it as if it were a piece of toast and the bacon came out of its packaging and the fridge, raw and frozen! I remember my husband at the foot of the bed, happy and waiting for my compliments, which I lavished on him without counting the cost, which earned me the same scenario for weeks until I took over what remained for us “the fried egg of love”, an exquisite exclusivity for our sole use ….

December 14, 2010 11:15 am 

celia said…

Hello, Like the best memories can be very simple things. My best memory is a Spanish tortilla (potato/onion) eaten standing up in a tapas bar in Madrid. Seriously, it has nothing to do with the compact and chunky omelette that you must imagine and that we have been seeing vacuum-packed in our supermarkets lately. No, the omelet was great, the potatoes were cooked to perfection and the caramelized onions gave a great color to the tortilla… Mmmm I’m salivating just writing this. As for my worst memory, it dates back to this summer in Croatia where I was delighted to eat grilled fish and seafood every day on the coast. Unfortunately, over 10 days, not once did a restaurant serve us a fish that was not overcooked. And if you like seafood and fish, you know as well as I do that overcooking seafood is not even a question of taste, for fish it’s a carnage…Everything becomes dry, even very dry…. Inedible. Plus, that’s probably why restaurants felt compelled to put a big ladle of oil on it… but it was too late… I assure you that it was not in one restaurant but in ten, by force in tourist places and of all price ranges…a big disappointment… Cel de Paris

December 14, 2010 12:01 PM 

bernie11 said…

The worst: The Burmese cuisine. I had asked the French boss of a Burmese agency to organize a cooking class for me as I do everywhere I go on vacation. When I arrived in Rangoon, he jokingly said to me: “Have a taste first and if you are a fan, I will organize this course for you”. Very quickly, given the lack of flavor and variety of the dishes and after trying to swallow a dish where the snake was not absent, there was no question of Burmese cooking class! The best: During a stay in Patagonia, after weeks of eating tasteless fish or meat always overcooked, accompanied by the eternal mashed potatoes, I discovered the restaurant El Muro in El Chalten after an exhausting hike in the cold and rain. I enjoyed the best (and largest) “bife de lomo” in the world, rare and tender, accompanied by a host of fresh garden vegetables and a bottle of superb Malbec. This was my canteen for the rest of the stay!

December 14, 2010 13:50 

Sly said…

Sly: My worst memory: “eels with Jean Pierre sauce” (JP being my best friend): a rancid taste as soon as you put them in your mouth, and as soon as you chew (really to please him, because the rancid taste already made my palate say “STOP”), noises and a strange sensation under your teeth –> He had left the eels to thaw quietly (in a bag stuck to the kitchen radiator –> they had to turn, and obviously did not know that there was sand in the eels and that they had to be washed (hence the crunchiness under the tooth) Fortunately for dessert there was fruit (at least I was sure that he did not have to cook it) My best memory : this plate of plantain fries accompanied by this wonderful tilapia with steaming onions which definitely marked the end of my DUKAN diet. Incidentally, message to mom for Christmas: if I realize that the blinis are made with oat bran and that the floating island is cooked without floating because “Dukan forbids too many egg yolks”, I’ll be adopted by another family for the holidays, I warn you).

December 14, 2010 13:57 

Anonymous said…

ALEX NOISY/ my best memory was one of my birthday with a pineapple tart (fresh pineapple just candied, shortcrust pastry) with a base of milk chocolate hazelnut ganache…hummm my god I still salivate just thinking about it!!! (very good chocolatier patissier of nantes G…) the worst experience was in a chinese restaurant where I wanted to test an original dish (taste something completely different, something out of the ordinary) I don’t remember the name of this dish but it was fried noodles with tofu and fermented shrimps all in a hot soup and well I let you imagine the result not very appetizing on the one hand visually (it resembled the “rendering” of the chef) but on the other hand I tasted it and it was a torture to swallow my mouthful. Good preparation of the Christmas meal to all ALEX NOISY

December 14, 2010 14:47 

Cybione said…

I could say that my best cooking memory is also my worst… It was in the 70’s, at the dawn of the new cuisine, when new restaurants were emerging with a revolutionary gastronomy. Living in the south of France, we were receiving Parisian family members who, to thank us, had planned to invite us to a new restaurant that had just opened in Nice, warmly recommended in a glowing article (which they had carefully cut out). They were happy to show us this restaurant that we, however of the area, did not know, all happy of this future great gastronomic moment. And here we are, after reservation, going there dressed up and curious, even feverish as far as I’m concerned: as a teenager, I had (finally!) the possibility to discover these famous dishes, far from the “traditional”, heavy and hearty cuisine, which was the norm in the restaurants that my parents frequented (who, I must admit, preferred quantity to refinement). The setting was delicious, the table pretty, the service refined: surprise, a small bread was delicately put on our plate, instead of the traditional basket. Then came the time to order: it was difficult to choose between all these dishes with precious names that we had to explain! During the aperitif, some small bites were served to us: the meal started well! However, the service was delayed, and what a surprise when the dishes came. Delicious, certainly, as advertised, they nevertheless sinned by their more than congruous portions: some bites were artistically presented, next to a leaf of salad or a slice of poached carrot. As for me, I remember four slices of black pudding with rice and basil, a local specialty, whose taste delighted me, each bite exploding in my mouth and delivering the scent of basil, as well as four (four, again!) grilled prawns, served with a manioc butter (and two spoons of rice). Then a quenelle of ice cream, served with a homemade tuile, whose buttery taste was enhanced by the sweet, almost caramelized crunch. It was a revolution in my palate: I discovered a fragrant, delicate cuisine, in which flavors and scents met, like a symphony orchestrated by a master… A whole world of experiences was opening up before me: a revelation! However, the worst was yet to come: HUNGER! Yes, you read that right, because the dishes, although pretty, were not enough to feed anyone, even the skinny teenager that I was. Worse, the waiter, with a haughty air, had refused to serve us bread, arguing that this cuisine was sufficient on its own; he had also implied that the philistines that we were were unaware that the bread was only a light accompaniment, in no way intended to satiate the guests. In short, we left with our stomachs as empty as our cousin’s wallet, because the bill was inversely proportional to the quantity of food ingested. So much so, that as soon as we left (in the middle of the afternoon, as the service had been very long), we all rushed to the nearest bar to order sandwiches which we devoured with appetite. You will certainly laugh, but more than thirty years ago, this cuisine (and this refinement) were still unknown to the common man. Needless to say, my parents never set foot in the gourmet restaurants praised by the magazines… As for me, I continue to enjoy (and cook) these refined little dishes. Fortunately, I never left the table hungry again!

December 14, 2010 15:51 

mdnavarra said…

Hello, my worst memory, I lived (or rather survived) in Germany. A great German tradition consists in the preparation and “tasting” of Knoedel! What an atrocity… A real torture, the kind of dish of which one prefers to ignore the recipe so as not to be too traumatized. The culinary gold medal will be, as far as I’m concerned, awarded to the chocolate caramel pancakes, with my grandmother in the main role, and in the secondary roles my sister and I who loved to enjoy this speciality at snack time, with a glass of milk. just thinking about it makes you dream…

December 14, 2010 19:43 

david said…

My worst memory is unfortunately because daily my company restaurant, the fish or meat whatever it is to the same taste … and the best is the fantasy that I have to go taste the kitchen of the day at “youpala” at jean-marie Baudic in saint-brieuc …

December 14, 2010 20:40 

khyrian said…

My best memories are probably from my childhood, of simple, tasty things prepared by my mother. In our house we don’t express our feelings very much, but I think it was his way of telling me I love you by pleasing me with good food. So my best memory will probably remain his veal blanquette, which was later made with lamb, tastier! As a child, this dish gave me so much pleasure that my mother said I was “singing”. In fact, when I was eating I had sweet little ‘mmmmmmmm’ of satifaction coming from the back of my throat, a bit like a cat purring, totally uncontrollable 🙂 That’s probably why blanquette d’agneau is still one of my favorite dishes today. My worst experience, strangely enough, came from a fairly well-known starred chef. His usually excellent culinary experiments left me and the other 3 guests at my table somewhat perplexed. It was a macaroon with old fashioned mustard and small vegetables. I can’t explain it, but none of us could get through this little side dish macaroon, which was probably too sweet, the marriage seemed weird with the grainy mustard, and the macaroon seemed soggy and its mouthfeel was not very pleasant.

December 14, 2010 23:55 

ALEX said…

My Best Culinary Experience…In Mauritius, beginning of the evening, nice with friends, a little island cocktail in hand… 33°C, the sound of the sea, the time without hours, and a tiny pain in the top of my back, because of the sunscreen that jumped out of my bag, staying in Paris, all that to be off my back… And from this so soft and calm atmosphere of the things of there emanated also a euphoric atmosphere of the bursts of laughter of my girlfriends… Then all of a sudden, what do I see…. The main course… Here it comes, it smelled so good… A smell of vanilla and spices, a warmth coming from this smell… The dish looked so good…I had not ordered anything yet, I was not expecting anything… But my god, it looked good… I didn’t want to taste this dish that seemed so delicious right away, because I think that tasting is done at first with the eyes… Then, not daring to touch what I thought was a service error, I looked at my friends to know if it was a joke… The smell of this off-menu main course seemed to have stopped time… Then I finally let myself be tempted by this island delicacy… A tasting that lasted all night… A tasting worthy of the name… This dish was called Yanta… A magical dish… That I have never seen served anywhere else… A dish I still remember the smell, the hands, the face… My God… What a Happiness!!!!! My worst Culinary memory….Swallowed in 30 seconds in Bali…A horror… Steve, if you read me excuse me…but really, it was borderline that I left without paying… Even if you were free…:-))))Thank goodness contests exist… so your disaster will have had its 10 lines glory… My respects very dear… and thank you for proving to me that it is not because a man knows how to make a woman laugh, that he is necessarily a wonderful cook 😉

15 December 2010 00:42 

sebastien said…

My worst experience : It was in Canada, in Saskatchewan more precisely. I had decided to make my host family taste the product which was for me the most representative and the most transportable of France: the foie gras! Foie gras made by a small producer in Aveyron, absolutely delicious. I didn’t want to offer it on the first day, no I waited, waited for the right moment, the one when we would be able to taste it in the best conditions. During this time I refined my recipe to make homemade bread, a change from the bland sandwich bread they were used to. And so the day arrived, my foster mother’s birthday, January 21, 2006. I prepare a jam of onion, I cut the bread, I toast it slightly, I open the can of foie gras, I bring the whole on the table, small presentation of the product, tasting. That’s when everything changes: polite smile, a sip of flavored wine, end of the experience. Result: a can of foie gras to finish alone! The 4 following days I tasted foie gras with a Swiss friend who also appreciated these things… I became aware of the relativity of tastes! Best experience: My father decided to take me and my sister, then 10 and 7 years old respectively, to celebrate the end of the harvest in a starred restaurant in the region. This meal is and will remain the most memorable of my life. The number of dishes, the diligence of the waiters and especially the dishes … aaahh these flavors, these products … I am still moved. Especially cannelloni with trout eggs and squid ink, the sensation of the eggs crunching under the tooth and pouring its iodized juice in my little mouth! And at the end of the meal the chef comes out of his den to make his rounds of the tables and stops at our table, it was decided I wanted to be a “chef of a great restaurant”! An unforgettable meal !

15 December 2010 00:57 

Guillaume said…

My best culinary experience: First real vacation abroad, destination… Vietnam! The evening of our arrival, coincidence of the calendar, the Vietnamese celebrated the millennium of Hanoi. Tired and disoriented, our stomachs were crying out for food. We push the door of a small restaurant almost empty away from the crowd without knowing that our taste buds would know a real happiness. Our first dish in Vietnamese style was egg rolls. First bite and… explosion of flavor, explosion of scent, a very pleasant texture. Suspended moment! The least good experience: Like many, I think I was frustrated by spinach as a child, obviously in the school canteen. More than 1h30 to swallow a spoonful of this “wordless preparation”. For a very long time I had to give up on it, then the years go by, it seems that tastes change… and my curiosity being too great to resist, I find myself from time to time tasting (yes I said “tasting”), Popeye’s favorite dish! Guillaume.

December 15, 2010 11:19 am 

KaraChiwie said…

(I have never seen so many comments on this blog…) My best experience was in a Japanese restaurant in Bordeaux where the chef managed to make me love oysters. Even though I’m from the Arcachon basin, these little creatures are rarely part of my purchases. The worst was in a gastronomic restaurant where the dessert was inedible. The salt had replaced the sugar. We had a good laugh. The chef came to apologize, but his pastry chef had a hard time, the whole room heard him 🙂

December 15, 2010 18:46 

Anonymous said…

The most beautiful memory….. Scrambled eggs served with caviar… In spite of an apprehension (see bad memory) I am not a fan of eggs, but there it was just ….sublime… Light, present, to fall on the ground… The worst…an invitation to my future parents-in-law who were happy to offer me beluga caviar (for the exotic note offered by the Shabanou herself).caviar that I swallowed whole, especially without crunching it…If I could have put 4 tons of lemon, I would have done it. In short, even today it is no except for …. the best memory mentioned above

December 15, 2010 20:28 

Anonymous said…

the worst: We had lent our small house of weekend to English friends and they had invited us to lunch on Sunday noon. we had a very busy week and we were delighted to spend in the countryside this so beautiful day of August. we brought a good bottle of champagne well chilled.We were there at 12:30, the right time for the aperitif, but no, it was meal time for the English, so we sat down at the table immediately. For the starter, a tomato for six! The main course was chicken legs cooked in water and served in soup plates (yuck…) with overcooked rice in water, which was also mushy. As a dessert, a quarter of camenbert (still for six) but the worst thing is that they chose this moment to serve our champagne well heated by the sun because they had forgotten to put it in the refrigerator! I still have shivers thinking about this day. And you will not believe it we did not escape the evening meal to finish the leftovers!I had undergone a surgical operation which had entailed a fasting of several days, that is to say that I was entitled only to a light broth of the clinic and my mother arrived with a dish of fresh spinach cooked by her care with cream and salted butter.

16 December 2010 02:42 

Kikoliv said…

My worst and best experience: At my wife’s Breton grandmother’s house, we started the meal with oysters, then scampi and crab with mayonnaise. For the main course, we ate “kig ha farz”: it is far (it looks like a pancake dough, made of wheat or buckwheat flour, cooked in a bag) accompanied by bacon, beef in a pot au feu and a very light sauce “le lipig” made of onions browned in butter (at least 500g for it to be good) For dessert, the grandmother had prepared an apple pie, which was bathed in her butter, and, to finish in lightness, a Christmas log with homemade coffee cream! In the evening we were supposed to go eat with friends at a creperie. Finally I chose the option Evening in bed with a bowl of soup to cure my liver crisis !!! LONG LIVE THE BRETON CUISINE! It was excellent for the taste buds but difficult for the digestive system !

December 18, 2010 10:53 AM 

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