Bastille Day NYC: Celebrate with Maille Boutique

New Yorkers celebrated Bastille Day early this weekend with complimentary French cooking lessons and tastings at the Maille Boutique in Manhattan, home to the premium French mustard brand products. Cécile Delarue, author of The Everything Easy French Cookbook, and Maille Mustard Sommelier Pierette Huttner, offered free delicious bites to guests and taught them about simple French cooking.

Bastille Day NYC Maille Boutique

The Maille Boutique was open to visitors on Saturday who wanted to learn about French cuisine, try a few treats or meet Delarue, who signed copies of her new book. The Everything Easy French Cookbook features tips and recipes for simple, yet impressive French foods, many of which she learned from her mother and grandmother.

“A lot of people think French cooking is too difficult and elaborate, but I want to show everyone that it’s actually simple and fun,” says Delarue, who is also the blogger behind FrenchandParfait.com.

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She also prepared two specialties from her new book – a Sauce Laurence dip that can be served with raw vegetables, and a vinaigrette dressing made with Maille Dijon mustard.

“These are two very delicious things to eat that are also quick to prepare, so you have more time to entertain friends or family,” says Delarue. “They’re simple so you don’t have to be stressed out.”

The free tastings, which were inspired by recipes from Delarue’s cookbook and prepared by Tastings NY, showcased gourmet Maille ingredients. The first bites were these mini Croque Monsieur’s with béchamel sauce, topped with Maille cornichons.

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The second tasting was a green lentil salad made with Delarue’s vinaigrette recipe, which incorporates Maille Dijon Originale mustard, Maille Sherry Vinegar with sun-dried tomatoes and Maille Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Mustard Sommelier Huttner explained to guests the importance of mustard in this vinaigrette, as well as in French cuisine overall. “Mustard is an important part of French cooking that amplifies other ingredients,” she says. “It’s almost like salt – it adds flavor to whatever you want.”

Bastille Day NYC Maille Boutique 4Guests also got to try a chilled beet soup with feta cheese made with Maille Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey. This soup had a beautiful, bright pink color and it was very refreshing.

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Other tastings included crème fraîche dip, tomato and mustard tartlette, chocolate mousse and raspberry clafoutis.

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During the presentation, Delarue also shared with guests the main ingredients she keeps in her pantry to prepare French foods. Some of these items, which Delarue says can also be found at local supermarkets, include:

  • Graisse de canard (duck fat)
  • Fleur d’oranger (orange blossom water)
  • Bouillon (meat stock)
  • Vinaigre (vinegar)
  • Piment d’espelette (espelette pepper)

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Maille is a premium French mustard brand, most famous for creating the finest Dijon and wholegrain mustards. There are five La Maison Maille Boutiques worldwide, including the New York location, which opened in 2014 at 185 Columbus Avenue. The boutiques offer a wide variety of mustards, vinegars and gourmet ingredients, including traditional mustards on tap.

Veena Bissram

Veena's two biggest passions are writing and traveling, but after living in Strasbourg, France, she acquired a third passion – food.Veena combined her three passions to create FoodAvecFlair.com, her own food website where she now writes about the meals that make an impression on her. She is also a freelance writer who previously wrote for Mashable. Follow Veena @FoodAvecFlair.