Wickedfood cooking school sent an expedition over to France on a culinary mission, to find insperation for our French cooking classes and teambuilding cooking classes. These are our top six Normandy restaurants.
Auberge du Mesnil-Rogues (Tel: 336-13712; Fax: 335-08563) near Beauchamps/Villedieu-les-Poêles. Style: Country cuisine from Normandy. A culinary landmark in a tiny village on the Manche peninsula, their celebrity chef specialises in cuisine du terroir with a focus on country cuisine. Set lunch and dinner menus are a bargain featuring his signature pork, duck and lamb dishes in typical sauce Normande – a combination of cream, cider and Camembert (see main feature). Renowned creations include lobster and foie gras (a marriage of earth and sea) simmered in pommeau (cider and Calvados), chitterling sausage in cider vinegar, apple sorbet with Calvados and rare duck breast in the richest Camembert sauce.
Le Petit Coq aux Champs (Tel: 324-10419 Fax: 325-60625), Campigny, near Pont-Audemer. Style: Haute cuisine from Normandy. A rustic retreat in the heart of the French countryside. Stay overnight in an authentic auberge with thatched lodges, exquisite gardens and divine cuisine. Chef Jean-Marie Huard tempts visitors with gastronomic menus that showcase Normandy’s haute cuisine. Local specialities include duck foie gras in aspic, pigeon with rosti, turbot baked on a stone with hollandaise sauce and Camembert and apple pastry. Member of Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Le Gué du Holme (Tel: 336-06376 Fax: 336-00677) in St-Quentin-sur-le-Homme, near Avranches. Style: Contemporary gourmet fare. An intimate, modern hotel that offers tourists the best of both worlds – access to Le Mont St-Michel and a sanctuary in a village away from the tourist hordes. With hands-on hospitality from patron chef Michel and Annie Leroux, the menu tempts with contemporary set courses of Normandy fare for the gourmand . House specialities include foie gras of duck with apple and caramelised Calvados syrup, stuffed rabbit and braised sweetbreads – with an emphasis on local seafood like skate, monkfish, cuttle-fish and langoustine stew.
Manoir de la Roche Torin (Tel: 337-09655; Fax 334-8352) off a country road in Courtils close to Le Mont St-Michel. Style: Normandy au Naturel. A member of the Relais du Silence Hotel group, the Manor offers a stylish sanctuary of food and comfort with dreamy views of the Bay of Le Mont St-Michel. Patron chef Guy and Danielle Bauaux are your friendly hosts in this quaint auberge and restaurant. The cuisine showcases the seafood and the unique salt marsh lamb cooked on an open fire from the tidal meadows around the famous abbey. The set menu du terroir also focuses on local seafood like hollow oysters, sea bream, whelk and scallops.
La Mère Poulard (Tel: 336-01401 Fax: 334-85231) Le Mont St-Michel. Style: Fine dining upstairs, tourist bistro downstairs. Every visitor to the rock of Normandy has to try one of their world-famous omelettes. The egg-beater’s song draws the crowds to the kitchen window to watch the chefs turn 2 500 eggs every day into the creamiest omelette you’ll ever eat, sweet or savoury, cooked in a giant copper pan over an open fire. While covering the D-Day landings in August 1944, Ernest Hemingway stayed here, writing, “Mont St-Michel is a great historical town. They have a place there, the Hotel de la Mère Poulard where they make omelettes the size of birthday cakes.” They still do Papa.
Brasserie le Central (Tel: 318-88084 Fax: 318-84222) 5-7 rue des bains, Trouville. Style: Fresh seafood on the sidewalk. If you’re looking for the quintessential French brasserie, you’ve come to the place. Perfectly located on the waterfront at Trouville, the more affordable sister resort of Deauville, join the long table on the pavement, rub shoulders with your neighbour and watch the fashion parade pass by. Packed every night in season, the brasserie specialises in a seafood platter of Normandy’s best – oysters, crab, langoustines, periwinkles, prawns and sea-snails (around FF250 per head). Or try their plentiful dishes of grey prawns and mussels .
See the following articles on French food:
Wickedfood Cooking School in Johannesburg runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Cooking classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our cookery classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these classes are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.