This last weekend my brothers and I finally made our dad’s long held ambition come true.
Back in the 1970’s, and more than once, my father (now 85) and mother along with friends made several attempts to visit the fabled “La Mère Brazier” restaurant in Lyon. For nearly a century politicians and well-known figures from a wide range of fields have flocked to the tables of this Lyon restaurant that has become an institution.
Opened in 1921 by Eugénie Brazier – the first female chef to have been awarded, in 1933, three Michelin stars twice, it now holds two michelin stars under chef Mathieu Viannay, winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France craftsman award in 2004.
Chef made us very welcome as he introduced himself and listened to our story of the four Brazier boys finally visiting Mère Brazier. His task was made more difficult by two being vegetarian, not me I hasten to add! – (how could I when working for the leading foodservice agency!) Neither veggie brother had eaten at such an establishment before, knowing hâute cuisine chefs often don’t cater to their type.
Mathieu rose to the occasion however, by providing a culinary experience that caused my elder vegetarian brother to exclaim at the end of the evening that it was the best meal he had ever eaten… truly magnifique.
Dad and I had the ‘menu dégustation’ and we were delighted by several amuse bouche – one, foie gras coated in beetroot jelly, was an absolute delight.
There followed spider crab with a citrus fruit foam, then scallops with candied lemon, kumquat and spinach, then fillet of haddock with courgette, asparagus, Cul Noir pork with a sorrel bouillon.
My brothers meanwhile were delighted with cheese soufflé with two truffle oils, french onion soup and wild mushroom tartlettes.
Dad and I then had roast pigeon, potato and apple mille-feuille with a Calvados jus. There followed a selection of cheeses, a pre-dessert of madelin soaked in liqueur with a delicious ice cream, finishing with a floating island of rhubarb and milk jam… served along with mini lemon meringue that was just wonderful along with a mini coffee bean chocolate patisserie.
My brothers shared a magnificent chocolate tarte with rice ice cream and a patisserie creation with biscuit crumb and ice cream that sadly nobody can remember what it was, other than absoltely delightful!
A wonderful weekend, made even more special by spending time with my family, playing golf and playing Risk – a family game from our youth.
So sorry my other brother couldn’t be there, but then Australia to Lyon would have been a weekend trip too far.
All credit to Eurostar and TGV for getting us there and back in perfect time – we really couldn’t fault their service either. A weekend to remember for all time and finally dad made it!
So, what did you do at the weekend?