Bonne Maman Mothers' Day Breakfast

Nicki Alchin
6th May 2016
No morning more glorious could have been ordered for the sixth annual Bonne Maman (literally translating to good mother) Mothers' Day Breakfast. Sunshine vibes beamed in through the greenhouse styled clear roof of The Potting Shed in Alexandria - a space within The Grounds of Alexandria on Huntley Street. The beauty of the unseasonably warm May weather was matched by a stunning array of flowers scattered across the event space in pots and vases. Rustic beauty and brightness abounded. 
The event's tone was perfectly set by the joyful exuberance of colour and scents. We were there to celebrate motherhood and the launching of Bonne Maman's rhubarb conserve in Australia. 
As other guests were arriving, I gratefully accepted an initial 'wake up' coffee. I also took advantage of an unscheduled moment to explore the flower and product displays for numerous gorgeous photo opportunities. However, once hearing the invitation to breakfast, I took no time in gathering my plus one to our allotted seats. 
The dining tables were decked out with flowers and condiments. Small touches also included floral cloth napkins. To our delight, printed menus set out a scrumptious two course breakfast of a sweet then savoury dish. We soon realised that the clever chefs had incorporated Bonne Maman rhubarb conserve into both courses to showcase the product's versatility. 
Proceedings began with the delivery of a warm buttermilk pancake topped with poached rhubarb, Bonne Maman rhubarb conserve, and vanilla cinnamon chantilly. A sprig of mint and a scattering of edible flowers completed the styling. The mint's refreshing sharp flavour gave a pleasant taste contrast against the sweetness of the rhubarb. Another food pairing touch of genius followed.
The spiced Bonne Maman rhubarb conserve and organic goats curd tart with bitter leaves and soft egg, firmly challenged the notion that rhubarb was only to be used in the creation of desserts. The sweetness complimented the savoury flavour of the goat curd and gave the dish an extra dimension in taste. 
Everyone on my table appreciated the deliciousness and thoughtfulness of each course.
Once the important task of breakfast socialising and feasting were complete, we moved onto phase two of the event. We were invited to leave our tables and sit close to the front of the room. Our MC for the morning, Mr Simon Paterson, Managing Director Andros Barker's Australia then led us into the story of Bonne Maman.
For me the most important messages about this French brand were authenticity, family, flavour, home cooking, quality, and tradition. It was pleasing to learn that a family business established in 1910 is still controlled by family members. I was also much taken by the fact that Bonne Maman jams contain natural ingredients, and that no artificial colourings, additives or preservatives are used. After tasting the rhubarb conserve, I know that many people will welcome this jam into their kitchens and breakfast tables. 
Simon also presented to us Me Kate Quinn Davies who was giving a food styling masterclass. A talented art director, designer, freelance photographer (specialising in food, lifestyle, interior, and travel), world renowned food photography blogger, and cookbook writer who has won awards and been named as a hot commodity by the likes of Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sainsbury's of London, there isn't much that Katie does not know about the art of food styling. 
We all watched and listened attentively to Kate's words of wisdom before being unleashed to style our own mini cheesecakes. All the essentials were provided on our tables. 
For my food styling experience, I dolloped poached rhubarb and Bonne Maman rhubarb conserve on the cheesecake and followed this up with generous spoonfuls of chantilly and a sprinkling of edible flowers. Everyone had a ball dressing up the cheesecakes. 
Before we knew it, the time to leave was upon us. We bundled our cheesecakes into boxes to wow the folks at home and collected our Bonne Maman rhubarb conserve samples to impress our respective families at our own Mothers' Day events and future breakfasts.