Did you know that French gastronomy is on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list? If you want to sample some quintessentially French food, then you must head to Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. It has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in France. Lyon has rustic French food and bouchons, a type of restaurant only found in Lyon that is usually family owned and serves traditional rich Lyonnaise food that developed from feeding the silk workers of Croix-Rousse coming back hungry from their night shifts. Lyon is also famous for the pope of French cuisine, Paul Bocuse, who broke the rules of the Lyonnaise bouchons and came up with a lighter, fresher and more artful presentation of food called nouvelle cuisine.
I decided to start with Paul Bocuse for my first travel post because France is one of my favourite places to visit. It was also during this trip that I began taking food photos.
Paul Bocuse's restaurant l'Auberge du Pont de Collognes is the oldest 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. Bocuse has received many awards including the medal of Commandeur de la Legion d'honneur, the highest decoration in France. This restaurant serves classical French food and has been doing so for decades. Some people accuse this restaurant of being dated and merely relying on Bocuse's fame. I beg to differ. No, I insist on differing.
We visited this establishment back in 2012. I admit, I was kind of taken aback by the somewhat gaudy exterior of the building and rather tired opulence of the rooms inside. But the food, the food was beautifully presented and every single dish delighted the taste buds. Rich, yes, but not bouchon-rich. It was rich in a satisfying sit-back-and-sigh-with-glazed-eyes kind of way. Granted, it was like stepping into a time warp. But, I've always fancied travelling back in time and stepping into this bubble of classical French cooking was certainly one of the best time travel I've ever done.
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