Cultivate your garden… Voltaire didn’t think so well! Not only has chefs growing a vegetable garden become proof that they really cook more responsibly, but their green surroundings are also becoming the setting for real restaurants that open in the summer.
The fresh grass that tickles your toes, the aromas that tickle your nose, the sweet smell of fruit that makes your mouth water… The garden is an ideal setting to bring out all your senses. There is no need to arrange large spaces sculpted by artificial light and projectors that mimic the sound of the forest. Nature, the real one, does the job perfectly. And that’s very good, because for many years the chefs have added a space to their gourmet table where they can grow local products. A green setting with the appearance of a pantry that now – at least during the summer period – is given a new function: receiving customers. Exit the air-conditioned dining room!
Direction Annecy and its lake. Facing the Bauges massif, the three-star chef Laurent Petit has reopened until the beginning of September a short-lived restaurant, which takes place in the heart of a vegetable garden, an essential link in his culinary shift consisting of lake and vegetable creations. One hundred meters below the Clos des Sens, his gourmet home, we come here to understand the full meaning of the Savoyard chef’s philosophy. We connect to the permaculture garden that extends over 1,500 m2, where the scents of 200 fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs are intertwined. The project was inaugurated in 2021 and it is clear that it has been working since it is the second edition. The ephemeral table is titled Cortil, without pronouncing the L. This means garden in Savoyard patois. Required. A real restaurant that has its own access, without going through the main reception. People come here to dine on vegetables grown nearby, such as whole roasted and grilled aubergines or chunks of lamb and poultry cooked over a wood fire.
And what could have been a unique initiative is ultimately not the case this year. The kitchen gardens of the chefs become real restaurant settings all over France. Even Alain Passard, who is a forerunner of the local culture to feed the cuisine of a gourmet restaurant, offers the curious to have lunch in his vegetable garden in Bois Giroult, located at the entrance to Normandy. The regulars of its vegetable baskets, warned by the weekly newsletter, have been warned: the event will only take place in August and places are limited! A real opportunity to discover the fruit and vegetable production of the great chef of Arpège, who in 2002 was the first to renovate a vegetable garden in Fillé-sur-Sarthe to make his Parisian table with stars self-sufficient.
Back to Paris. The restaurant Garance has decided to take its summer residence in the Limousin, and not just anywhere, in La Thibarderie. This is the family farm where the boss Guillaume Muller comes to draw the food needed to supply the menu of the Parisian table. Throughout the year, the trained sommelier travels back and forth between the capital and Magnac-Laval to select the productions of the six-hectare farm. The rural outbuilding is called Le restaurant Champêtre. Chef Romain Goyeneche serves farm produce here from Thursday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. The menu is accessible: 30 euros.
(ETX Daily Up)