Chefs and products of the South-West of France

Chefs often demonstrate their passion for Nouvelle-Aquitaine's cuisine, from London to the Basque Country through La Rochelle, Limoges and the Dordogne Valley.

Hélène Darroze - Confit without confession

Hélène Darroze Theconnaught Restaurant 800x350
© The Connaught restaurant (London) — Hélène Darroze

Hélène Darroze, who needs no introduction, is without any doubt one of the best ambassadors of Landes cuisine. And, what dish could be more iconic of her area than duck! The chef from Mont-de-Marsan makes it her own through her foie gras macaronade, her crumble and her confit with peas which, along with other dishes, delights the customers in the Parisian restaurant which bears her name.

plat-restaurant-TheConnaught©JustinDeSouza-1
© Justine De Souza - Restaurant The Connaught

Duck
The supreme quality of Landes duck is the result of its diet, which is made up of corn from the region, one-of-a-kind because of the Chalosse area’s particular soil. It's a territory bursting with flavours (External link) ...

plat-restaurant-TheConnaught©JustinDeSouza-8
© Justine De Souza - Restaurant The Connaught

Christopher Coutanceau - Rare pearl

Christopher Coutanceau
© phvauressantamaria — Christopher Coutanceau (La Rochelle)

Fisherman-cook and two Michelin-star chef, Christopher Coutanceau defines himself as a “La Rochelle man, 100%”. As a denizen of the ocean-side city, honouring the oyster in his recipes was more than obvious to him. In the restaurant which bears his name, the chef rediscovers the oyster, alone or in its marine setting accompanied by scallops and sea-water écume.
See the recipe (External link)

Restaurant Coutanceau Caviar-Kristal-au-crabe-royal-huîtres-grillées-©phvauressantamaria
© phvauressantamaria — Caviar Kristal au crabe royal, grilled oysters

Marennes-Oléron oyster
Marennes-Oléron oysters, matured on oyster beds, enjoy an environment where phytoplankton develops quickly. This makes them richer and more colourful than open sea oysters.

Laurent Butot - Tenderness first and foremost

Laurent Butot, the chef from Limoges, ambassador of Blason Prestige meat (External link) , promotes the best qualities of his region. At the Geyracois, his restaurant specialized in quality-label meat dishes, and Limousin beef holds the role as the establishment’s icon. Yet, it can also be found on the plate, accompanied exclusively by regional products, to really delight the taste buds of guests.


Facebook - "Le Geyracois" (Limoges) (External link)

Limousin beef
This is an animal born after millennia of adaptation. Wild oxen were sketched on the walls of Lascaux, and even to today, the particularities of the Limousin region create the perfect environment for this special race of cattle.

Vincent Arnould - a strawberry dream

chef vincent arnould
© Claude Prigent/Le Vieux Logis - Vincent Arnould (Dordogne Valley)

Although chef Vincent Arnold comes from the Vosges, he has a passion for products from Périgord. Taking pride of place in his restaurant Le Vieux Logis alongside truffles are Périgord strawberries, which, “everyone goes mad for”, says the chef. Ennobled in sorbet, the fruit unveils its ever-so sweet flavours to anyone who takes a bite.

plat-fraise-restaurant-vieux-logis
© Philippe Jacques/Le Vieux Logis

Périgord strawberries
Périgord strawberries (External link) appeared on the scene back in 1895 but only really became popular after 1950. In 1959, Périgueux farmers created Périgord’s first “strawberry cultural” cooperative.


Facebook - "Le Vieux Logis" (External link)

Xavier Isabal - Sacred yet free-spirited

chef Xavier Isabal - Ithurria
© Dominique Chauvet Roldan / Ithurria - Xavier Isabal (Pays Basque)

When Chef Xavier Isabal took over the reins of the family-run establishment Ithurria, he proved just how much Basque cheese was sacred—yet, not stagnant, and could be presenting with inventiveness. The cook, who has created penne with Oteïza chorizo and Agur ewe’s cheese accompanied with vegetable ribbons, advocates “product culture." He believes this approach is in his genes and is the basis of the Basque slow-food movement "Bizi Ona," founded by his father.

plat-restaurant-ithurria©VincentBauza MonNuage
© Vincent Bauza - MonNuage

Pyrénées cheeses
In Nouvelle-Aquitaine (External link) , Pyrénées cheeses offer a variety of flavours: Ossau-Iraty, with an AOP (PDO), Black Tomme, with an IGP (PGI), as well as Estive cheese, traditionally made during the transitions in grazing cycles, have their very own aficionados.

plat-restaurant-ithurria2©VincentBauza MonNuage
© Vincent Bauza - MonNuage