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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Langoustine tartar- citrus, melba toast, impérial Baéri caviar. Cooking class in Champagne

 This post is courtesy of one of our past champagne tour clients who wrote a fabulous article on her blog about her Michelin  star cooking class in Champagne with our favorite 1 star chef Michael Nizzero from La Briqueterie in Vinay!

We bring clients to eat lunch at their gorgeous property during our Champagne Tasting trips. We usually squeeze in a cooking class from 15h30-16h30 just after a tasting at Dom Perignon and just before a tasting with an award winning champagne grower! Pricing for the private cooking class with the head chef is 150€ per person for a 1 hour class or 75€ per person for a 30 minute class. I wanted to share with all our readers the recipe and notes from Annette Freeman. Booking for your own private cooking course can be done here. Enjoy the article and recipe below from our dear Australian client!

Michelin star Cooking Class in Champagne

An opportunity for a cooking lesson/demonstration from a Micheline-starred chef in France? The answer is, naturellement, 'oui, oui!' Our chef was the amazing Michael Nizzero, presently at L'Hostellerie la Briqueterie at Vinay, near Epernay in the champagne region. A snippet of his impressive resumé from their website:

Michael Nizzero is a 28yr old Belgian Chef who joins us from The Waterside Inn, Berkshire, UK. Chef Nizzero spent 4 years at the prestigious 3 Michelin starred Waterside Inn as First Sous-chef, under Grand-chefs Michel and Alain Roux. Previous to this he was Head Chef of Pisces Restaurant, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Under his guardianship
 this restaurant was awarded best seafood restaurant in Dubai 3 years in a row.This already tells us that the food is likely to be pretty wonderful, but we had checked this out by dining at La Briqueterie the evening before: foie gras, delicate fish, and a cheese trolley straight from heaven. What would Chef Michael have to show us in his high-powered kitchen the next morning?

The recipe, he said, was a favorite of his which he had included on the menu ever since he had begun at La Briqueterie: Tartare de langoustines aux senteur d'agrumes , toast melba et caviar d’Aquitaine. After a brief kitchen tour, and some attention to the day's supply of foie gras, prepping it to be baked, Michael turned to his ingredients, laid out on the stainless steel bench.

"First," he said, "kill your langoustine." They like things fresh at La Briqueterie. But if you don't have any handy langoustine, you can use instead yabbies, or scallops.

I'll give you Michael's recipe  - then add a photo tour of the proceedings.

Easy to make at home! After you catch your langoustine, of course. Bon appétit.

Tartare de langoustines aux senteur d'agrumes , toast melba et caviar d’Aquitaine
4 personnes

24 langoustines live or Scampi, peeled and cut into large brunoise pieces

For garnish 
X 1 green chili, finely diced 
X 1 red chili, finely diced 
X 1 bunch chives chopped 
Lime zest 
Lemon zest 
Orange zest 
Salt / pepper 
Shoots beet x 12 
Shoots red chard x 12 
Caviar d'Aquitaine x 40 gr 
12 Melba toast 

For the citrus vinaigrette 
Squeeze and zest 2 limes, 2 lemons and 2 oranges and whisk in a steady stream of a couple tablespoons of olive oil of Papillon, salt and pepper. 


Bring water up to a nice boil. Add live langoustines for 10 seconds not more and immediately submerge in an ice bath. Now separate the head from the body. Use your fingers to crack the back bone. Now pinch the tail and pull very gently the vein out of the langoustine. Now add the langoustine to the vinaigrette with the brunois chili, chives, salt and pepper. Arrange on a plate as pictured. Top with caviar d'Aquitaine.

*These are live so we don't need to worry about how fresh they are! Yet do keep in mind some simple tips of how to check freshness: look at the eyes which should be black, the shell or color should be red and there should never be a strong fish smell!

Juice of three different citrus: lemon, lime & orange.
Zest of the three citrus.
Quality virgin olive oil.
Combine half-and-half citrus juice and olive oil and season.
Chop previously prepared langoustine into 1cm chunks.
Add zest to chopped langoustine.
Mild red and green jalapeño peppers
finely diced (with the skill of a professional chef, of course)
Add diced peppers to the langoustine.
Chives, chopped finely with similar skill.
Add chives to langoustine.
Michael adds the vinaigrette to the langoustine.
Finished langoustine and vinaigrette mixture.
Spoon mixture into a small circular mould to shape for serving.
Decorate with tiny melba toasts.
Garnish with some delicate  greenery.
Michael's suggested brand of caviar.
Top with a generous spoonful of caviar.
That went quickly....

In case you need help with technique in terms of the langoustine go ahead and watch this Youtube video from Pavillion France of how to prepare the live langoustine!


  1. Wow you have shared an amazing recipe here. I never tried cooking langoustine and I haven’t tried it even. Hey can you tell me what are chives which chief added to langoustine? The recipe looks so delicious and creamy. Can you share useful cooking class video here for me?

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