If you’ve missed any of the previous photo tours from my French Gourmet Trip, go ahead and catch up here:
Good. Now that you’re all caught up, it’s time to join me for Day 3 of the journey towards the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon. Today’s trip started in Grignam, where the previous night I had indulged in a fantastic truffle dinner.
Breakfast was equally awesome. In just about the cutest French country kitchen you could imagine, I dined on pain au chocolat, fresh fruit, and a classic French omelet. Look at that kitchen. Tres cute, no?
Our next stop was at the Arnaud Soubeyran nougat factory, founded in 1837. Nougat is most well-known in the US for being the stuff underneath the chocolate in Three Musketeers and Milky Way bars. In France, it’s a much more elegant affair with honey and sugar combining to form a hardened marshmallow-like substance. Drivers on their way from Paris to the sea would stop in the town of Montélimar to buy sweet, sweet nougat along the way.
Anne-Sophie Pic is the only female Michelin three-star chef in France and she pretty much owns the town of Valence. She has a cafe, a cooking school, a bistro, a five-star hotel, and the aforementioned Michelin three-star Maison Pic. The macarons above are made under her auspices.
Valrhona is known to some as the best chocolate in the world. It’s used by top pastry chefs across the globe and the Cite du Chocolat in Tain l’Hermitage lets you into their process with a fun chocolate museum chock-full of samples. It’s not quite a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but it’s definitely worth a visit for chocolate lovers.
A trip to France isn’t complete without a wine tasting. At the M. Chapoutier tasting room, these adorable cars prove that the French can make anything look good and that includes cars painted the color of… chocolate. Let’s say chocolate, okay?
Dinner last night was something truly special. We got back to Lyon in time to enjoy a pop-up dinner at Atelier Nespresso, a photography studio that’s been coverted into a restaurant for the week of the Bocuse d’Or/SIRHA restaurant convention in Lyon. The chef cooking last night was Emmanuel Renaut, voted the best chef in France along with top pastry chef Yann Couvreur. Follow along on the menu with the dishes below: