This is Rebecca. She works at the Free Press, and is the fabulous sales rep who we work with at the Scuffer. Which was where we ran into each other when she asked me what I thought of bouillabaisse. I like bouillabaisse a lot.
Did I want to come along to the Bouillabaisse Bash that Bluebird Tavern, Dedalus Wine Shop and winwin events were putting on that Sunday and that the Free Press was sponsoring? I was available, oh yes indeed.
The event’s plan was a simple one: celebrate the season the way it’s done in Provence – with fabulous rosé wines and bouillabaisse. There would be live music, it would be in the barn at the Intervale Center, and that was that.
So on Sunday, I put on a fabulous new summer dress, settled the wild boys down with crankyGreg, and headed to the Intervale. Going down the hill, I screeched into Gardener’s Supply to pick up something to deal with the voracious army of slugs and snails that are walloping my garden. F’ers Naughty gastropods.
From there it was over to the barn, where the lovely Anna and Lara were staffing the registration wagon. People, if you see these faces greeting you at an event, you’re in the right place.
Then it was inside to hit up Jason from Dedalus for one of the four rosés he was pouring. I started with the Ermitage he’s holding in this picture, and had a favorite in a rosé of Pinot Noir that I finished with.
People were wandering in and through the barn to the lawn behind it. Here are Suzanne Podhaiser from Seven Days talking with a Emily Betz of Bistro Sauce and a friend.
Before too long, it was time to eat. A buffet line was set up around the Bluebird event tent, where the bouillabaisse was simmering.
First we grabbed a plate from the stack and got a tong-ful of salad.
Then around the corner to olives …
and gougeres …
and bread slices to spread with saffron aioli (or was it rouille?).
Then this nice guy handed over a bowl of soup. (There’s Sue from Bluebird behind him and to the right.)
Then we sloshed our way inside to eat up. The first bite was heavenly, a breath of saffron and fennel and ocean. The soup was full of fish and shellfish: mussels, scallops, clams, whelks, periwinkles, crab, cod, pollock and something and something. But things got positively rapturous when we put the aioli-topped bread in the broth that was left in the bowl and let it soak up the flavors. Traditionally, the seafood and broth are eaten separately like this, and it was easy to see why. Absolutely rich and light and briny and aromatic. Wonderful.
We had a second bowl, plotted making off with the unguarded aioli sitting on the table, and then August First’s Phil and Jodi danced.
Another lap around turned up the table where the folks from the Freeps were hanging out.
And then it was time for me to get home, where – fabulous dress or no fabulous dress – it was time to get on with the slug-killing.