Photo Tour: French Gourmet Trip Day 3

Posted in Europe, France, On the Ground

If you’ve missed any of the previous photo tours from my French Gourmet Trip, go ahead and catch up here:

French Gourmet Trip Day 1

Photo Tour: French Gourmet Trip Day 2

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.


IMG_9254Breakfast 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?


IMG_9248Yes, that is a quart of butter slipping out the bottom. Thanks for asking.


IMG_9258Our 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 MonteÌlimar to buy sweet, sweet nougat along the way.


IMG_9271Anne-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.


IMG_9284Chef Pic was nice enough to pose for a photo with me. Since arriving in France my man-boobs have grown into a full b-cup. I’m quite proud.


IMG_9274This cheese truck was parked next to Pic’s cooking school. I wanted to steal the keys and drive it away. The prices were absurdly low.


IMG_9288At Le 7, a bistro chic from Anne-Sophie Pic, I dined on a three-course meal that started with this mushroom raviolo above. A bit freeform for my tastes, but good overall.


IMG_9291The duck entree was perfect for a cold winter day and the butternut squash and roasted chestnuts really made the whole plate.


IMG_9295Pistachio cream over chocolate ganache with pistachio ice cream for dessert. Voila!


IMG_9298They send you on your way with luscious strawberry macarons. What an excellent parting gift.


IMG_9305Valrhona 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.


IMG_9308You like samples? They got you covered.


a group of cars parked in front of a buildingA 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?


IMG_9324 - Version 2Dinner 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:

IMG_9340IMG_9339IMG_9343IMG_9353IMG_9359Bon appetit.


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