Lifestyle

Grand tastings: Fonscolombe, Audrieu, Normandoux, châteaux and chefs

Grand tastings: Fonscolombe, Audrieu, Normandoux, châteaux and chefs

The châteaux of Audrieu, Fonscolome and Normandoux are playing fields for chefs where gourmets enjoy savoury tastings.

Château de Fonscolombe, with Romain Franceschi

In a park filled with fragrant lavander, this Provencal homestead of the 18th century is the gourmet stronghold of Romain Franceschi, a chef involved in ecology and nature to offer the best regional products. Amongst his signature dishes, a fine tart around old fashioned varieties of tomatoes, rouget à la caponata and lamb with crispy eggplants, all deserve a visit. Menus: €48 and €75. fonscolombe.fr 

Château de Fonscolombe view
Superbly renovated, the château has been transformed into a charming 5 star hotel-restaurant. © DR
Château de Fonscolombe chef Romain Franceschi
In this sun-filled region, the chef has at his disposal fresh produce from his vegetable garden, in all seasons. © DR
Château de Fonscolombe dish
Noire de Crimée, Ananas, Cœur de bœuf, organic tomatoes compose this ephemeral master piece to be tasted on the spot. © DR

Château d'Audrieu, with Olivier Barbarin

At the heart of the Calvados stands an 18th century manor, classified as Historical Monument. The chef, who trained amongst  Meilleurs Ouvriers de France pillars, preprares a filet of turbot with Champagne, a fricassée of snails and chicken breasts with rhubarb that truly are a good reason to return to Normandy. Menus: €75 , €85, €105. chateaudaudrieu.com

Château d'Andrieu outside view
A long alley leads to the 5 star château that becomes truly regal at sunset. © DR
Château d'Andrieu chef Olivier Barbarin
From the vegetable garden to the plate, the chef serves his organic produce to his clients, hand-picked the same day. © DR
Château d'Andrieu dish
At the Séran restaurant, the presentation plates were designed by Maison Raynaud, featuring the crest of the château. © DR

Domaine du Normandoux, with Caroline Chevalier

In the Poitou, the estate of Normandoux was mentioned as early as 1260 and Caroline Chevalier, a native of the area, only 21 years old, specialized in the art of light cuisine. Totally in keeping with ongoing culinary trends, she whips up scrambled eggs with chorizo and dried tomatoes, a sea bass with risotto of courgettes and veal with mashed potatoes. Menus: €30, €42. www.normandoux.fr

Domaine du Normandoux outdoor view
Far from the bustle of big cities, this domain is ideal to welcome you during the Fall season for a green escapade. © DR
Domaine du Normandoux cheffe Caroline Chevalier
Cooking with herbs is one of the strong points of this young talented chef who prones a healthy cuisine. © DR
Domaine du Normandoux dish
Here, wine and food pairings are in the spotlight, between seasonal products and regionally certified wines. © DR