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2019 food travel recap

2019 is awesome. I can’t count the number of stars but it’s quite a lot like 40. From one to three in Europe and top ten restaurants from the world’s 50 best for South America.

January and February are inactive for restaurants as this is vacation time. March has start passionately with a visit to Oslo, Norway. Especially at Kontrast* and Maaemo***. This is quite funny to find out that same guests were dining at both places… Both restaurants are astonishing for the quality of food and hospitality. Big up to the Maaemo team who found me 100 meters away from the restaurant for a welcome in french. Katla is my other restaurant recommendation for Oslo. On the bars side, svanen and the « find me if you can » himkok are the best in town. I will plan to visit the new Maaemo as soon as possible as they move to another location in April 2020 with a drop from three to zero star due to Michelin guide rules.

Maaemo ***

April is dedicated for another nordic country. Sorry not sorry they are the best for foodies trips. And here we go… Denmark! The highlight was Noma**, Alouette* and Geranium***. The last one has the best hospitality ever I had so far at a restaurant. Precise and out of space on client needs without doing too much. At Noma, I had the opportunity to share my culinary experiences with guests around the world at the communal table. This table setting always bring souvenirs for life.

Geranium ***

In May, let’s score some stars in Sweden and Germany. Agrikultur* in Stockholm, Sweden was remarkable. The kitchen is young but the strongest in town. The future of Stockholm scene is coming from here. Tim Raue** in Berlin, Germany was food perfection but the strangest hospitality ever like almost throwing the plates and all waiters wearing the same Nike running shoes.

Tim Raue **

Back to Denmark in August. 108, Barr and Amass. The latter is my favourite restaurant this year for the atmosphere, service attention, the food and the visit to the garden. The best mackerel I had in my entire life. Back to France, I was invited to Eden Roc restaurant for a lunch. Let’s see what’s going on this year as they will have some help from Eric Frechon*** to boost the kitchen level meanwhile their dessert team is already elite world-class.

Amass

In September I went to the top restaurants in Peru. Especially Statera, Maido, Kjolle and Central. All need to improve on service but the food is finest and local. This is a new kind of products I wasn’t accustomed. Some were surprising like piranha and the different potatoes from the Peru. The gastronomy scene is growing fast in Lima. It may become a food hub in South America in the next decade.

In October, it’s worth a visit in Amsterdam to dine at Spectrum** and &Moshik**. Both chefs are creative. Food is tasty, savoury and come with an original presentation.
The year came to an end with visits to Gastrologik**, Ekstedt* and Sushi Sho* in Sweden. Read more here. It’s terminus for Winter so let’s go and travel the world for food again!

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Humans

Cannes Forville market with Michelin star chef Christian Morisset

It is 7.30am. Let’s drive with Christian Morisset to Cannes Forville market. He is the owner and chef of le Figuier de Saint-Esprit, a renowned Michelin star restaurant in Antibes. We will spend half the day drinking coffee, talk with farmers, buy products at the market for the restaurant, visit the boucherie agricole and finish with the chef’s personal shopping at the bio grocery because, yes, we are all humans and are born to share.

I won the game « A market tour with our chef » by Le Figuier Saint-Esprit, the only Michelin star restaurant in the old town of Antibes, France. Let’s start with a story rich of emotions moment with Christian Morisset and humans of the Forville market in Cannes.

We meet at the corner of Boulevard Wilson to drive with the car full of crates! It’s Sunday and the road on the sea side is almost empty. We arrive at marche Forville in Cannes. The best market according to the chef in the Antibes neighbor for its price and quality of products. The Kangoo is now in the parking. Let’s go to La Cannoise to meet Christian’s friends. They are farmers and talk about Nice-Matin gossips and how the farmer work may be run under better conditions in France. After a coffee and a croissant, we move to the market.

We start in the center of the market by greeting the farmer who sells his vegetables. The chef and I taste some veggies. We then move to the mushrooms stable, take some and another vegetables stand. The farmers being in the middle of the market, we skip the ones on the borders. Especially the fish ones but only the person I know may hear the full story. For people wondering about the Antibes provencal market, it is the same. Resellers on the borders and farmers in the middle. Enough of vegetables for today! We stroll, spend money of the restaurant envelope, chat with the cheese producer, taste fromage, visit the flower shop for a chef’s wife gift. He really is a lover! We then move to the fruits stable to get our crates full of figs. Christian is a rock star and a guest since ages to all these farmers that we complete the tour after three hours or so. The time is going fast. Mission accomplished!

Next is a tour at la boucherie agricole. They are well-known in the area to provide the best meat pieces. Meanwhile the chef is talking with the front of house, I start the visit of the butchery. From cold chain course to meat chop tables, I get a nice overview of how a butchery works before the exposition of the meats to customers. Thanks to boucherie agricole staff! After this cherry on the cake, we move to the bio market to get some ingredients for the chef to cook at home. Finally, he admit his favorite meal is a cheese plate and a good glass of wine.

There is a tomato party at le Figuier Saint Esprit

On the way back to Antibes we talk about the food industry, difficulties the chefs face in the french riviera, his journey from cooking as a child to become a successful chef. If you are a young chef and read this article, always work hard. It will pay off!

Visit the Figuier Saint-Esprit website to discover the chef’s cuisine.