A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

My Day with Jean-Christophe Novelli

I still can't believe how lucky I was to be invited to a Carte D'Or Dessert Masterclass with Jean-Christophe Novelli at his cooking academy (and home) a lovely 14th Century Farmhouse, in Hertfordshire last week.

It was a seriously fantastic day. It took me not too far short of 5 hours to get there by train; no point in me driving - too much Champagne and wine would have been missed!

Carte D'Or has just bought out a couple of new flavours to their already scrummy and excellent range of ice creams. Macadamia Night and Cherry Blossom as part of their 'Ice Cream Sundays' Campaign.

After my quite traumatic taxi journey from the train station to the academy (which should have taken 10 minutes) 45 minutes later I arrived.

Turns out I got probably the only taxi driver in the world that despite using sat-nav, had no idea where he was going - but fancied he wouldn't tell me that until we'd set off!

Anyway, all was well and I got there in the end. What a lovely place Jean-Christophe lives and works in - this is part of his garden.

Once inside I almost fell over when I saw his oven, it is HUMONGOUS and this is just half of it!

He sat and chatted to us, answering all our questions, nothing was too much trouble.

So, after a coffee and a chat, we were all now with Champagne in hand and listening to his every word.

Jean-Christophe first showed us how to make the starters we were having - Sea-bass with a tomato sauce which I must say was just the best thing ever.

In a later post I will attempt (if I can) and without the aid of a safety net, to make it myself and try and show you what I mean.  The tomato sauce was by no means 'ordinary'.

We then had the main dish of pork belly which had been cooking for almost 6 hours along with Boulangere potatoes.

He made a gravy using the remains of some filter coffee adding a little cocoa powder...Delish is the only word.

Check out the wine glasses, they were the size of gold-fish bowls!

As I write I'm thinking a separate post would be good to show you the other desserts he made, or you'd be here till midnight night reading.

So for now, I'll just show you Jean-Christophe Novelli's 'Chocolate Trio'

Using 'Macadamia Night' ice cream by Carte D'Or.

This is really lovely but very rich, so you'll only need small coffee cups to serve.

Later on, he showed us how to make spun sugar:

As I say, I'll do another post later with some more yummy recipes. To finish off the day Jean-Christophe poured us all a coffee.

He was so sweet - he even asked me about my holiday!

We all received an unexpected cookery book from him and of course, being such a nice person he signed them for us.

The lovely Michelle from Utterly Scrummy blog was there too.

Sadly the day came to an end - but not without a picture!

A great big thank you goes toJean-Christophe Novelli, Neil and Mel, and of course Carte D'Or for inviting me. I had a seriously fantastic day.


  1. I have serious oven envy now Jan, it's beautiful!
    The ice cream recipe looks fabulous too. What's chocolate powder though?

  2. Nic - It's drinking chocolate.

  3. Oh thanks! I was thinking it probably was, but you never know with ingredients these days. xx

  4. How wonderful! It was lovely to share the day through your post!

  5. What a fab day Jan! Of course that smile on your face standing next to "him" says it all! xxoo

  6. Hi there Jan, sorry it's been so long - but what a post I return to - WOW!! How lucky you are to have such a fab day - you are very deserving though :) The ice-cream sounds delish - I will look out for these ranges. Hope you are well. Lucie x

  7. Was a lovely day wasn't it?

  8. Oh Jan, I'm so jealous! Looks like you had an amazing day; definitely worth the 5 hour train journey (and 45 mins in the cab, eek!). I want that house!!

  9. I would have swooned and fainted. Seriously that man is gorgeous! LOL

  10. Wow what a wonderful day! Glad you had such a great time with some inspiring recipes :)


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