Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Bernachon is one of the most famous chocolate-makers, with only one store worldwide, in Lyon. There is the pastry shop, and next door the Bernachon's cafe. It has been many years that I was looking forward to try their chocolate due to their fame and the fact that they are making it from scratch on their own. They don't just take the cocoa beans, melt them down and produce the chocolate, but they even roast them to their taste. 

You can find chocolate bars, assortments, bonbons, pastries, viennoiseries in a great selection. The most famous are the palets d'or (with real gold leafs) and the Gateau President Maurice Bernachon (Bocuse serves it as a dessert in his restaurant).

We went to the cafe for some hot chocolate and breakfast. I have to say it is expensive. At 7 euros for a hot chocolate I expected it to be thick like a melted bar of chocolate (Angelina's chocolat a l' ancienne has set the bar high), but it was moderate and made by cocoa powder. The portion was good for 2 persons thought. A quiche was very good as also a butter croissant. 

One of my favorite pastries is eclair, so I decided to give it a try and see Bernachon's version. It was really fresh but blunt, I couldn't help but remember the excellent one from La Maison du chocolat. A tarte au citron and a chocolate tarte with jam inside were very good. No doubt the best pastry you can find in Bernachon is their famous Gateau President Maurice Bernachon. 

The palets d'or were very good with intense chocolate flavor, but a chocolate bar was lacking in taste and texture (maybe it was my fault, choosing a milk chocolate).   

The only place outside of Lyon that you can find their chocolate bars is A l'etoile d'or in Paris. 

New online boutique Bernachon la boutique

The best pastry I had in Lyon was from Sebastien Bouillet. There is a small store near place Bellecour selling chocolates and pastries, and a larger one in La Croix Rousse.

It was a Saint-honore, different from the classic one,  with a tart base instead of the puff pastry. The tart was very crisp, the salted butter cream was excellent, the whipped cream and the choux too, so freshly made with crunchy caramel top. It was really a masterpiece. 

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Philippe Rigollot, Patissier-Chocolatier

Philippe Rigollot is a pastry and chocolate maker, holding a Mellieur Ouvrier de France title and has worked in many famous restaurants and patisseries. He started at Lenotre, then went to Pre Catalan, and later to Anne Sophie Pic. 

His patisserie is in a quiet small square near the centre of Annecy, making it a bit hard to find as a tourist, but easily accesible for anyone who knows it. 

We tried the hot chocolate inticated as ''fait maison''. It was fairly good and rich, but not as much as for example Angelina's. The price if I remember correctly was 1.50 euros for the small one and 3.50 for the big. 

The eclairs were both very fresh and very tasty. The vanilla macarons on the other hand were not, being a bit chewy and dull. 


Monday, May 20, 2013

Ouest Express - Paul Bocuse, Lyon

My first fast food entry is about the new french chain with only 2 restaurants so far, one in Vaise and one in the Part Dieu. The owner is Paul Bocuse. He is not the only famous chef to get in the market of fast food, Alain Ducasse has two sandwich shops in Paris and so does Thierry Marx and Guy Martin. The chef of molecular gastronomy, Marc Veyrat, after retiring from his two 3 michelin stars restaurants in Annecy (and 20/20 in Gault Millau guide) , opened for some years a bio fast food called Cozna Vera. 

Mr Bocuse's fast food restaurant is in modern style for breakfast, lunch or dinner with burgers, sandwiches, pasta, salads, pastries. You can find cheese and wine too. 

A dish of fusilli pasta with tomato sauce and a green salad were both good but not anything special. 

The burger was average due to the patty which lacked flavour. French fries were very good but not fully hand made (why?). 

The price? It is a bit more expensive than McDonald's, Burger King etc, but I would go with Ouest Express due to the more relaxed atmosphere, the service, the quality of ingredients and the absence of excessive salt.  

See my review for Paul Bocuse's restaurant , L' Auberge du Pont de Collonges.