Six Dubai-based chefs and bloggers are the stars of a YouTube documentary series about French butter. A must-watch for fans of the country’s go-to ingredient, the four-part mini series sees them follow the butter’s journey from a farm in western France to the table in Paris. And with the videos already watched by over one million people and counting, it seems Dalia Dogmoch Soubra, Courtney Brandt, Nicole Maftoum, Sandra Boghos, Yasmine Tannir and Jen Sahi are taking the Internet by storm.
The latest series produced by the French Dairy Board and the European Union is all about showcasing the all-natural qualities of French butter and the flavour enhancing attributes it brings to any dish. During filming, the foodies have the opportunity to witness firsthand the milking phase of the butter-making process when they visit a dedicated dairy farm in Machecoul, western France. While there, viewers get to see the strict hygiene regulations that are implemented to avoid bacteria contamination, as well as the five-star conditions that are put into effect for the cows so they can create tasty milk.
“The butter-making process is connected to the milk composition, which in turn, is related to what animals eat,” award-winning cheese monger François Robin says. “Eating as naturally and seasonally as possible gives that fantastic taste that we get in the butter later. That’s why this connection between what the cows eat and how the butter tastes is so incredibly important. This is the perfect illustration of the link between the terroir and the taste of the butter.”
Churning butter, a centuries-old tradition, is also highlighted in the series. The group see how the butter is churned, using a wooden churn, and then how once it is formed cold water is added to capture the flavour and firm it up. The golden staple is slowly kneaded until it obtains its familiar consistency. In addition, the history of butter is showcased as part of a to visit the town of Laval and the local dairy museum. The fascinating story of butter is recreated there, with many of the original tools used to make butter on display.
During the third episode, Chef Tugdual De Béthune shows what a difference butter makes in cooking. At his Holen restaurant in Rennes, the Michelin-star chef outlines just how it enhances the taste and quality of his dishes.
“Butter has its natural flavour, but if you add another ingredient to it, automatically and very gently, the butter will enhance those ingredients and will try to mirror them. It works as well in savoury dishes as it does in sweet ones,” he says.
Plus, while visiting the French capital for the series, the chefs and bloggers pay a visit to Chef Eric Fraudeau. This is when they got to learn the art of making croissants, and of course, tasting the end product. “Butter is a truly versatile ingredient, whose flavour is not only great by itself, but it can also capture and bind flavours. It can also bring out other things, add texture, and its presence can be both obvious and subtle,” Robin says.
The last episode is the only one filmed in Dubai. The sequel focuses on Chef Dalia’s relationship with butter and includes some ways she incorporates it into various delicious dishes. She shares her love for the dairy product by exchanging knowledge with other food enthusiasts and friends, who happen to be owners of famous establishments in Dubai. These are Chef Mohamad Orfali, the founder of Orfali Bros Bistro, and Pastry Chef Hind Al Mulla, founder of Home Bakery.