During the COVID19 era, the restaurants industry was hit by one of the most violent crisis of its history. For more than two months and without any prior warning, restaurants owners were forced to shut their doors to the public.

If some of them decided to close their ovens during confinement, others reinvented their menus to offer take away meals, created gift certificates, packaged picnic baskets to go and came up with other solutions to keep the business running.

The owner and chef of the restaurants LE PICHET and CAFÉ PRESSE, Jim Drohman is French cuisine and French culture passionate. « the idea behind our restaurants is that we wanted to recreate the social ambiance and warmth of the neighbor hood bistros of Paris where every one gathers to enjoy food, drinks and friends »  explains Jim Drohman.

Le Pichet

The chef who decided to use the confinement as an opportunity to  refresh the decoration of his restaurant has insisted to pursue his tradition of conviviality and came up with BBQ chicken and Piknik baskets to put on the menu as take away meals.

The chef put on his apron for ICI SEATTLE to create a recipe with seasonal produce and insisted on giving in the French touch he enjoys so much.

Asparagus with chives, and crispy jambon de Bayonne

Washington state asparagus with chives, grain mustard cream and crispy jambon de Bayonne


2 persons

  • Washington asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 2 oz thinly sliced jambon de Bayonne (air cured ham from the French Basque Countries)
  • Peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch ground mace
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Stem the asparagus, wash well. Blanch in a lot of boiling salted water so that they asparagus is not crowded.  When just tender, remove from the water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain and pat dry.
  2. Finely chop the chives.  Heat peanut oil to 350 degrees in a heavy pot. Fry the slices of jambon until crispy, about 2 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Combine the crème fraiche, mustards and spices. Stir to combine evenly but don’t over stir.  Separately, season the heavy cream with salt and pepper, then whisk to medium firm peaks.
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the crème fraiche.  Check the seasoning.  This cream should have the consistency of loose whipped cream.
  5. Arrange the asparagus on 2 salad plates. Season with salt and pepper.  Dollop a scoop of mustard cream over the asparagus. Garnish with chopped chives. Crumble the crispy jambon slice over the top. Serve.
Café Presse

To get more recipes from the chef, visit his personal blog at Jim Drohman where he generously published many of his favorite french recipes.