In Treachery in Bordeaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, the hero, winemaker detective Benjamin Cooker, is a revered and feared wine critic, author of The Cooker Guide. For the launch of this first in the series, Le French Book got some exclusive material from Benjamin Cooker himself (thanks to Jean-Pierre and Noël). Here is a recommendation for a fine meal in Toulouse. Why Toulouse? Well, because the sweepstakes are still running to win a trip there. While you spend five nights at the Garonnella bed and breakfast, you might want to experience a very fine meal too.
L’Amphitryon rises again
Does anyone remember, back ten years ago, the young pastry chef who was treating diners to delicious desserts at the Gindreau, that fine restaurant in Saint Ménard in the Lot? Today, Yannick Delpech is a prodigious chef with two Michelin stars at L’Amphitryon in Colomiers, just outside of Toulouse. His genius has withstood the test of time, and overcome those set out by Fate. In 2011, an accidental fire burned his restaurant burned to the ground. But the chef just worked harder and his restaurant rose again from the ashes like a phoenix. Once again, it stands across the way from Airbus’s assembly lines. A rebirth often comes accompanied by another. Yannick Delpech is also putting out a magnificent culinary photo album with David Nakache called Les ailes du plaisir, which will be published in French soon by the Editions Menu Fretin. In it, he details such dishes as his vegetable caviar with bison grass vodka and Adour kiwi, and a Southwestern duck foie gras poached in port with Toulouse violets and black truffles. Benjamin and his sidekick Virgile have a regular table at L’Amphitryon.
Now, that sounds delicious. As Cooker’s translator, I’d like to add that L’Amphitryon gets its cheese from my favorite cheese monger in the region: Chez Jeannot. Mmm…..