Natalie Richard: In Good Taste


Gastronomic Postcards From the South West of France

From the Top Chefs

In the valley between Bordeaux and Toulouse you find the most praised delights of French cuisine such as black truffles, foie gras (goose liver), boletus mushrooms and a new generation of amazing chefs who master the art of making you feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven at first bite!

Get your pupils and your taste buds ready for a mouth watering gastronomic preview of the Garonne in the South West of France.

Our first stop offers the most amazing view of Bordeaux—if you can take you eyes off your plate—Le Saint-James is one the best table of the region, graced by the talent of renowned chef Nicola Magie (2 Michelin stars). My introduction picture features his vision of the guacamole and below, a true work of art: a perfectly seared scallop on a tomato tart with a sea anemone tempura, and a foie gras lasagna with variations of the boletus.

Next, we travel to Valence d’Agen at L’Entracte, the restaurant of great chef Pascal Ladogne who offers generous portions of the regions specialties in a warm and friendly setting. Here are 2 great classics: garlic snails and tartare, with fresh raw boletus.

Then, we go up to Moirax, a small village built around an 11th century priory, to Le Prieuré, the Michelin Star restaurant of amazing chef Benjamin Toursel, for an spectacular tasting menu including scampi with beets and shiso, as well as a very creative tuna tartare, served here with a raspberry ketchup and crunchy snow peas.

Last but not least, it is in Astaffort that you will find the great cuisine of Michelin star chef Fabrice Biasiolo, from Canard, Cochon & Cie, who also honors Une Auberge en Gascogne, the Château & Hotel owned by French signer Francis Cabrel. There is no menu, just three themes to choose from: Initiation, Creation or Emotion, they change daily in accordance with the chef’s inspiration. Amongst all, I tasted something new and totally pleasurable…spall of raw foie gras with balsamic vinegar, as well as foie gras and passion fruit macaroons, served with a shooter of tomato water. Just WOW!

Note from my liver:On the menu this week: clear broth and steamed vegetables!!!