Superior soufflé: Danielle Savard defends her title
The saga of savory servings returned to the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia Cooking Contest. The defending champion ― Danielle Savard of Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast in Afton ― raised the bar with her gluten-free soufflé that garnered a good deal of attention from everyone involved.
Savard had cooked up the winning creation in 2014 with her breakfast crepes but this year she narrowly stole the victory with her superior soufflé that gave everyone a new perspective on gluten free dining. The soufflé managed to beat out masterful Apple Pie Pancakes (which were vegan, gluten free and dairy free—an impressive accomplishment in and of itself), a melt-in-your-mouth quiche, a marvelous rendition of Spanish Tortillas, and even a deliciously mellow granola.
This year’s competition focused on providing unique dishes that were either gluten free, dairy free, or vegan and participants received extra points if the dish accommodated all three. Hot plates sizzled, knifes minced, toaster ovens hummed, and attendees were pleasantly surprised when there were extra samples of the creations they’d heard about, watched cook and savored the aroma of for at least an hour.
When not stealing the spotlight at the cooking contest, Savard cooks for her guests at the inn all the while offering tips and tricks to those that wish to learn. She has recently started sharing her health-conscious, gluten-free cooking with the entire area via a food truck. The restaurant on wheels is aptly named Le Chic Picnic and has been well-received by all that have partaken of Savard’s mobile cooking. The success is unsurprising considering the five star reviews that Le Bleu Ridge has received which all make a point to note how much they loved her cooking. From comments such as, “Danielle is a superlative cook, who is only too happy to accommodate special dietary needs” and “Danielle, our hostess, is a true chef. Breakfast is wholesome and local, adapted as needed to guest’s dietary needs (vegetarian, diabetic, etc.)” it becomes far from surprising that she won the BBAV Cooking Contest.
Le Bleu Ridge Soufflé Served with a Purple Green Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette
A Gluten Free Life is a Life to Enjoy!
8 servings of 12 once ramequins, or a larger cooking round ramequin, 30 minutes preparation and 15 to 20 minutes cooking
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoon of a gluten free flour (2 tablespoons of sweet white rice flour, ½ tablespoon of arrowroot and ½ tablespoon of tapioca flour – the white rice flour is lighter than the brown rice, but more processed)
- 1 ¼ cup of milk
- 12 oz of grated cheese (mix of gruyere, Gouda, cheddar, left over cheese such as brie, and parmesan)
- 2 tablespoons of greens onions, or shallot diced really tiny
- 2 tablespoons of sweet red peppers (did you know than the sweet peppers have more vitamin C than an orange?)
- 6 large eggs separated
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of dry mustard
- Pinch of red pepper (facultative)
- Prepare the ramequins with olive oil. Make sure to cover well.
- You make a béchamel. Melt the butter, and add the green onions and the sweet red peppers and cook slowly until tender. Add the flour and mix with butter mixture. It should not be too thick. Add the milk slowly perhaps ¼ of cup each time and whisk until smooth each time. Add the seasoning and taste.
- Cut the heat and add the cheese. Melt and you have a Sauce Mornay.
- Second you need to whisk the white eggs until they hold together and are firm, but not too firm. Until you get a pick that hold.
- Add to the béchamel the yolk one at a time and mix well.
- With a stainless steel spoon add a quart of the mixture into the béchamel and fold so it will make the béchamel loose. Add the balance of the white eggs and fold slowly to integrate the white eggs in the first batter.
- Spoon the mixture in the ramequin until you reach the rim. Cook in the preheated oven at 375 degree F, and place a pan in the oven to make sure it is warm when you place the ramequins. Do not go too far, and place a 15 minutes alarm, so you can check them. They are cooked when they are golden color.
- Serve with a green salad, avocado wedge, roasted beets and feta or goat cheese with an orange or balsamic vinaigrette.
Photo credit: Jami Carlson