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Outstanding lunch with the only female three star chef in France: Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic (1. August 2019)

| September 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

Anne-Sophie Pic is the only French female chef in France which has been awarded three Michelin stars in 2007 and still has them. The “Maison Pic” is located in Valence and is a rather ‘normal’ place from the outside although it carries the name quite visible at the entrance.

One of the first things you see when you enter is the “collection of Michelin Guides” since 1901 which I think is quite impressive. It shows the history the Maison Pic has as already her grandfather and her father have had 3 Michelin stars.

The entrance to the restaurant is rather artsy as you can find a statue of Anne-Sophie Pic while walking to the garden patio …

… which is very peaceful and inviting.

And once you’re seated in the garden, you will find the “PIC sign” where you can see when the respective owners and chefs have been awarded their 3 Michelin stars for the first time.

I decided to go for the “Tasting Menu “Harmony”” (EUR 280.00) …

… which was comprised of eleven courses.

And of course, I decided to have the “wine pairing” (EUR 140.00) with it to make sure to be able to enjoy the full extent of this luscious lunch. The lunch started with a little amuse bouche still served in the garden which was a lovely way to get your palate started.

While the bread selection was not as large as in other restaurants, as you were basically just provided with four different types of bread without being asked which ones you would want, it was still great as the breads were of perfect taste and texture. At first, when it was presented, I thought that “butter with pepper from Madagascar” was rather boring in terms of taste but it turned out that this pepper from Madagascar was actually quite a revelation in terms of taste!

As a first official course, or rather, an amuse bouche, there was a “cucumber amuse bouche” which was refreshing.

They also prepare kind of a drink for the next dish which tasted strongly like grass. But was still somehow rather tasty.

The first official course was the “pot crab (seasoned with roasted buckwheat oil garden flowers, geranium rosat and tarragon ice cream)” which looked so incredibly lovely! Especially with the little band of flowers at the back of the plate, it was just amazing! And the crab meat was absolutely delicious and also quite generously spread over the plate.

The next course was “Berlingots (filled with soft liquid smoked banon, watercress consommé infused with ginger and bergamot)” which I did not know at first what Berlingots were but the little things were great in terms of flavour and texture!

And it looked also super pretty once the liquid was poured over them.

I absolutely loved the “langoustine marinated with clover honey (sage, fennel, flowers, verbena and rock samphire, fine green beans and butter beans)” as they had the typical taste of langoustine which I already like quite a bit but in combination with the honey flavour in which the langoustine was drenched it was just amazing!

For some reason, not quite sure which one, we were selected to enjoy the next course at the “Chef’s Table” in the kitchen. And there you can also see the history of the Maison Pic with the former chefs like her grandfather, André Pic …

… or her father, Jacques Pic …

… and finally herself, Anne-Sophie Pic.

When you look at the Chef’s table from the side, it isn’t that spectacular …

… but once you sit down and get to see the kitchen being full speed at work …

… you see how much they are all doing and contributing to creating a marvelous experience for all the people in the dining room!

It is incredibly, how busy but not hectic the people in the kitchen are. I mean, there is a constant movement, a constant “coming and going”, and it seems like no one is ever not busy but there is no sign of stress visible.

The dish served in the kitchen was the “John Dory fish (cooked meunière style, Granny Smith apple broth, chartreuse, tagette and shiso)” which looked absolutely tremendous. The combination of colours was just so pretty!

And it somehow even increased with “the Granny Smith apple broth” but I must say, to me, it was unfortunately one of the weaker dishes as the fish was somehow a bit boring – even though the sweetness and slightly sour note of the apple made it an interesting combination.

What I liked a lot, back at the regular table, was the “Durco pork rib (matured for 80 days, Stichelton and alfalfa honey marinade, beetroot, barberry and blackcurrant)”. The meat looked like it wasn’t cooked entirely but still a bit glassy but in combination with the marinade, it was just absolutely breath-taking! The Stichelton cheese sauce was incredibly intense so you would have to be careful to not put too much of it on the meat as it would overlay everything else. But if you put it in small doses, it worked perfectly!

The little predessert – which I cannot recall in terms of what it was – was a good start into the dessert part of the lunch.

And an even better move to my favourite course, the “cheese trolley”!

Once served, I had a nice selection of different, rather intense cheeses.

There was a second pre-dessert which looked interesting but was also refreshing.

I was somewhat looking forward to the “white mille-feuille (light Tahitian vanilla cream, fine jasmine jelly, Voatsiperifery pepper emulsion)” as it did not only look amazing but it was also delicious! Of course it helped that I love vanilla but the combination with the pepper emulsion, it was just out of this world.

And of course there were “Friandises” …

… and chocolates to finish off the lunch!

I was not entirely up for the idea to get to the South of France by car at first but in hindsight, as it allowed me to visit the Maison Pic, it was a great idea! The place is not only delicious in terms of the food you get but also in terms of the interior and exterior design of it! Absolutely loved it!

When you are in the area of Lyon, I can absolutely recommend you to visit the Maison Pic. It is worth the travel! Ideally, you spend a night there so you  get to enjoy dinner which is – I am sure – even more of an experience but even the lunch experience is absolutely amazing!


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic

Avenue Victor Hugo 285

26000 Valence (F)

Tel.: +33 4 75 44 15 32

E-Mail: contact@groupe-pic.com

Homepage: http://www.anne-sophie-pic.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 860.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Restaurants, The World's 50 Best Restaurants, Valence (F)

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