lLike Wine tourism, the gastronomic tourism awakens the senses and the spirit … and the appetite as well ! So after a heavy schedule of cellar visits, you’ll fully appreciate a relaxing break in one of those inns so beloved of food lovers.
Gastronomic tourism in France
Paris, the capital of the gastronomic world, no longer has anything to prove, but don’t forget that our regions have not only delicious regional fare, but also excellent places where you can enjoy it. What could be more tempting after tasting several styles of wine, than prolonging this treat for the taste buds with the exploration of culinary specialities which these wines often accompany so extraordinarily well ? For while the harmony of food and wine is often the result of intensive gastronomic research, it mustn’t be forgotten that the most basic, simplest of regional harmonies are regularly … the most successful!
Have you ever found yourself in seventh heaven when tasting a chavignol goat’s cheese with a white Sancerre ? A camembert with cider? A Munster with a Gewurztraminer? And there are so many traditional cooked dishes they couldn’t possibly all be named, but just think of, for example, chicken with morel mushrooms accompanied by a vin jaune from the Jura, pigeon with olives cooked in myrtle wine served with a Corsican red… A word of advice – if you don’t know exactly where to eat, always ask a wine-grower to tell you his favourite, and he’ll guide you to the best eating-places around.
But there’s more to gastro-tourism than little traditional inns; it would be incomplete without the great chefs with the top reputations, the restaurants of international renown.
In Alsace, you mustn’t miss the flavourful cuisine of Emile Jung at the Crocodile, especially the roast Vosges pigeon, polenta with pimientos and spaghetti squash fondue.
In Champagne, you simply have to stop off at Crayères, for the most incredible list of Champagnes you’ve ever read … or tasted!
In Bordeaux, your tour of the Médoc would be incomplete without an evening at the Château Cordeillan-Bages, where you’ll be delighted by Thierry Marx’s shad à la Ventrèche.
But you mustn’t forget Burgundy, and in particular Marc Méneau’s L’Espérance, reputed for its fattened Bresse chickens.
Some great restaurants also have celebrity chefs like the Savoyard Marc Veyrat, famous for his hat and his flawless 20/20 in the GaultMillau 2005 – as well as for his subtle, friendly cuisine, which makes full use of all the aromatic herbs of his region.
And finally, there’s no by-passing institutions like the Maison Troigros in Roanne, equidistant from the great producing regions of Rhône, Beaujolais and Burgundy, which gives pride of place to a traditional gastronomic register, such as the surprising but successful marriage of pigs’ ears and crayfish, or squab with truffle and foie gras!