James Bond food flambeed kidneys

Where does James Bond eat in Paris? Part 2: Lucas-Carton

We learn in the short story ‘From a View to a Kill’ (published in the 1960 volume, For Your Eyes Only) that James Bond, when in Paris, would typically dine in one of four restaurants. One of them is Lucas-Carton, an establishment that was – and still is – situated at 9 place de la Madeleine. Founded in 1900, the restaurant was named after its owner, one Monsieur Lucas – actually an Englishman – and its renowned resident chef, Monsieur Francis Carton.

Ian Fleming considered this one of the ‘great’ Paris restaurants, and, with its opulent decor and equally opulent prices, it is hard to disagree. James Bond would have paid roughly the same amount for a meal here as he would have done at Cochon d’Or; more so, in fact. According to the 1959 edition of the Michelin Guide, its meals cost up to 3600 francs. Today, the restaurant continues to offer luxury dining with prices to match. The four-course menu at ‘The Table’ will set you back €110, a seven-course menu €200, and a truffle and caviar menu €260.

The Michelin Guide listed délice de sole Lucas, poularde étuvée au porto, and rognons flambés as being among the restaurant’s specialities. I suspect James Bond would go for the sole every time, but he might at least consider the rognons flambés or flambéed kidneys. As the method for preparing délice de sole Lucas was presumably known only to the restaurant staff, I’ve decided to present instead a recipe for the kidneys, inspired once again by a recipe published in Bouquet de France (1960 printing).

Serves 2

  • 2 kidneys (I used lamb), cleaned and sliced
  • ½ small onion or 1 shallot, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 5 or 6 baby mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • Pinch each of salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or truffle oil if available) for frying
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • Parsley, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. Fry the kidney slices for 2 to 3 minutes, turning the slices over part-way through. Add the onion, mushrooms, butter, salt and pepper and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, allowing it to heat through until it begins to bubble. Add the brandy and carefully set alight. As soon as the flame has died, divide the kidneys and its sauce between two plates. Garnish with ome finely chopped parsley and serve with slices of crusty bread.

James Bond food flambeed kidneys

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