Meeting with Christophe Dufau at Les Bacchanales

Les Bacchanales, my favourite restaurants in the Cote d'Azur.

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Christophe Dufau is a renowned Michelin Chef in the region, famous for his unconventional mix of flavors made entirely with local produce.

 

His restaurant 'Les Bacchanales' is situated next to the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, which was designed by Matisse.

 

It is the ideal place to have lunch after a visit to the Chapel.

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After feeding your eyes and soul with the mystical beauty of Matisse's masterpiece, you will be ready to satisfy your palate with Christophe’s creations.

 

As he states on one of the walls of his restaurant:

 

 

Cooking is not an art…it is an artifice!

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In fact 'Les Bacchanales' can be defined as a Cooking Mansion, where food preparation and new recipe development is perpetual.

 

The menu changes weekly, based on seasonal products and their availability.

 

Everything is done from scratch, even bread, crackers and grissini.

 

Water is filtered and served still or sparkling, free of charge.

The garden at the back of the house is full of herbs with bizarre names, which Christophe has planted and uses in his kitchen.

 

His cuisine has been influenced by his international cooking experience, where he learned to use unusual spices, and combine diverse ingredients.

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Mint, fenuille purple, melissa, celery perpetual, menta bergamotto_4_1_1

So after a tour in the garden we came back with:

  • mint,
  • purple fennel,
  • melissa,
  • celery perpetuelle,
  • bergamotto mint,
  • a nice squash and
  • 3 quinces.

 

What is that 'coal' like spice?

It is carbonized garlic that Christophe uses as one of his “secret” ingredients.

He leaves the garlic over the Barbecue until it carbonizes, then grates it over the food as a seasoning.

When I met him at 'Les Etoiles de Mougins', he was seasoning steamed aubergines and figs with it.

Garlic ashes

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It is time to eat, and I am welcomed to the outdoor patio.

 

Here you discover the artistic touch of Christophe’s wife, Esty.

 

The tables and chairs are made of wood from wine-barrels, that gives the patio a warm and bright ambiance.

Esty’s artistic flare adds a special feature to the restaurant, and I am served an Amuse Bouche consisting of:

 

Biscuit with pistachio cream, bottarga and celery, over the claws of a copper crab.

 

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I found out that the crab is part of a collection of copper sea animals made especially for the Nespresso Banquet, at the Cannes film festival this year.

 

Christophe was in charge of the food.

 

I can see George Clooney happy to eat the Bottarga Biscuit, instead of drinking one more espresso!

You can find more on Esty and her creations at:

 

Esty Grossman

 

 

Esty 1

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The Biscuit was delicious, the nuttiness of the pistachio, the sharpness of the celery and the fishy saltiness of the bottarga really complement each other.

 

For those who have never tried it, the Bottarga is an Italian delicacy made from the roe pouch of grey mullet.

The Amuse Bouche has not yet finished to delight my palate:

 

Parsley pesto with homemade grissini, one with Taggia olives and the other with rosemary

 

Basil and mozzarella meringue

 

 

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How he made the meringue, I didn’t dare to ask.

It melted in my mouth, delicious!

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Oyster and Mediterranean sea bass, green apple, agastache 1

As a starter I had:

Oyster and Mediterranean sea bass, green apple, agastache.

 

 

 

 

The sea flavour from the oyster and the seabass was sharpen by the sweet acid of the green apple, and enhanced by the anise of the agastache.

Covered by a fresh foam of tomatoes, celery and carrots.

 

 

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Mediterranean fish with poivron date olive

As a main course I had:

Mediterranean fish with pepper, date and olive

The Mediterranean fish was swordfish, a fish I grew up eating during my summer vacations in the southern Italy.

I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of swordfish and dates which reminded me of Sicily, where savouries are often combined with the sweetness of the southern fruits.

The quinoa was unexpectedly crunchy and together with the fresh walnuts added texture to the dish.

Finally for dessert I had:

Autumn fruits, black chocolate and ricotta

It was a smooth sweet Ricotta mousse, and a beautifully decorated black chocolate twig, bursting with dried and fresh figs, crunchy biscuits, almonds and blackberries

 

 

 

Autumn fruits, black chocolate and ricotta

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The artistic cooperation between Christophe, Esty and their young and energetic team was a great experience for the eyes, and the palate.

I wish I remembered the names of the staff members as I would like to mention and thank them all, one by one.

The service was impeccable.

It is such a fundamental element of dining out!

 

So at the end, I couldn’t resist asking Esty: "What do you eat at home on a daily basis?"

Esty replied: "Like this, but different every day."

Lucky her!

After all, you wouldn’t expect an artist to paint the same picture every day.

So don’t expect to find the same menu, as each week.......

 

a new Artifice is inspired at 'Les Bacchanales' !

 

To make a reservation at 'Les Bacchanales' go to their website:
www.lesbacchanales.com

Les Bacchanales

247 avenue de Provence, 06140 Vence

+33 (0)4 93 24 19 19
info@lesbacchanales.com

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Meeting with Michelin Star Chef Christophe Dufau at Les Bacchanales, Vence Cote d’Azur France

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  22 comments for “Meeting with Christophe Dufau at Les Bacchanales

  1. Donna
    17th October 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Wow, Laura! Sounds like an awesome culinary experience! Next time I come to St. Paul de Vence to see you
    I want to go!

    • Laura
      17th October 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Definitely Donna, too bad we did not go last time. We were right there!

  2. 29th May 2017 at 8:47 am

    Wonderful item and thank you so much for recommending Christophe Dufau at Les Bacchanales!
    The food looks so delicious and original, I bet you had a scrumptious meal, lucky you!
    I love the interior design and premises too, Les Bacchanales is the very restaurant where I’ll enjoy a romantic dinner with my husband! 🙂

    • Laura
      29th May 2017 at 8:51 am

      You are welcome Patty, I am sure you and your husband will enjoy. The garden in the summer is beautiful

  3. Beth
    30th May 2017 at 12:35 am

    This is beautiful post, Laura! How lucky are you to have gone to this lovely meal!

    • Laura
      30th May 2017 at 3:28 am

      Thank you Beth

  4. 31st May 2017 at 2:31 am

    What an amazing gastronomic experience you had Laura. How I wish that we could also dine, savour and enjoy the beautiful creations of Christophe @ Les Bacchanales. Cheers! 🙂

    • Laura
      31st May 2017 at 4:28 am

      Thank you Lani, it is such a great restaurant

  5. 1st June 2017 at 5:51 am

    That sounds like an absolutely beautiful place Laura, and a must visit! The food looks amazing and the surrounds are just gorgeous ❤️ Really well written article too

    • Laura
      1st June 2017 at 6:18 am

      Thank you Gabby

  6. Michelle Barsness
    7th June 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Sometimes you sit down for a meal and it becomes a flood for the senses and an incredible experience you’ll never forget. This is clearly one of those amazing places and experiences. What a special treat for you. When in France, I would definitely look this place up.

    • Laura
      16th June 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Perfect description Michelle. You should and when you are around let me know.

  7. 10th June 2017 at 8:22 pm

    This looks like a fantastic restaurant. I can’t believe they even make crackers from scratch; now that’s commitment!

    • Laura
      16th June 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Everything from scratch and they were deliciously unique. Thank you Kacie

  8. 12th June 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Wow! You had a smorgasbord. What a fantabulous experience.

    • Laura
      16th June 2017 at 2:44 pm

      It was Jane, thanks

  9. 15th June 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Wow, that carbonized garlic looks amazing! I would love to go here someday!

    • Laura
      16th June 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Wasn’t it? His creativity is amazing. Thank you Meghan

  10. Kavey Favelle
    16th June 2017 at 1:48 pm

    I really like both the food but also the approach, as it’s good to learn about a place with a strong relationship with the natural landscape and agriculture around it.

    • Laura
      16th June 2017 at 2:47 pm

      He has, and he has enlarged his vegetable patch lately. It is fantastic.

  11. Gingey Bites
    16th June 2017 at 2:05 pm

    The food looks stunning and what an amazing experience you had there, especially going into the garden to collect ingredients with the chef! How lovely!

    • Laura
      16th June 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Thank you, so many unusual ingredients

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