Le Grand Restaurant

Good morning,

From institution to interdiction, today’s restaurant.
Restaurants across the world stuck down by the pandemic are awakening in the aftermath: some have been lost forever, others laid low in survival mode awaiting the day of reopening in a post-vaccine world; while others adapted, innovating new business models around takeout and at-home experiences. This shift in the industry landscape begs the question, beyond food, what is a restaurant?

This month’s edition is dedicated to exploring this inquiry, by taking a historical look at this institution, we talk with Daily Telegraph restaurant critic William Sitwell about a history of eating out; look at the very French tradition of the Mères Lyonnaises; get a deeper understanding of restaurant jewel, the truffle and to finish up with some accessible Burgundy wines to the mix.


William Sitwell
© Dan Burn-Forti

William Sitwell: The History of Eating Out

Like so many people associated with the restaurant world, William Sitwell’s life changed beyond recognition when the pandemic hit last spring. One of the UK’s eminent food critics, he was left wondering what the future of the restaurant world would be, as well as looking back on how eating out has evolved over the decades and centuries that precede us.


Talking Truffles with Christopher Poron, Maison Plantin

From Antiquity to today, truffles, the diamonds of the kitchen remain a highly-prized mystery.  While truffles can be cultivated, the harvest is as unpredictable and uncontrollable as anything coming from nature. It is this enigmatic quality, and the unique, deep musky yet indescribable taste, that drives prices upwards of 850 euros per kilo, for the more expensive white truffle from Alba.

Mère Brazier

Who are the famous Mères Lyonnaises?

They are cited as culinary references in numerous texts of the twentieth century and flaunted as a key element of Lyon’s tourism. They are a cornerstone of France’s regional gastronomic heritage. Yet who are these famous Lyon Mothers  (Mères Lyonnaises)? Writing a text for the Dictionary of Creative Women led me to question the history of these women and their naming…

Barrels in the Roumier cellar

Burgundy on a Budget
by William Kelley

By many metrics, Burgundy is enjoying unprecedented success. Dominating any list of the world’s most expensive wines, the region produces some of the most coveted and costly beverages on the planet. What’s more, Burgundy’s animating philosophy of terroir—the notion that the precise place a wine comes from exercises a defining influence on its taste—has come to dominate contemporary wine culture. …

Luxeat Digest

Michelin awards star to vegan restaurant for the first time in France

A vegan restaurant in south-west France has won a Michelin star, the first for an establishment serving only animal-free products in France.


Albert Roux: Chef and culinary ‘legend’ dies aged 85

Chef and restaurateur Albert Roux, who brought great French cooking to the UK with his brother Michel, has died at the age of 85.


Pompeii: Ancient ‘fast food’ counter to open to the public

A “fast food” shop from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed in a volcanic eruption almost 2,000 years ago, is to open to the public – for viewings only – next year.


Here Are London’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants for 2021

Both Core by Clare Smyth and Hélène Darroze at the Connaught have become London’s newest three-Michelin-starred restaurants.


EU shellfish import ban indefinite, UK fishing industry told

The EU has told British fishermen they are indefinitely banned from selling live mussels, oysters, clams, cockles and scallops to its member states.


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Emmanuel Renaut, a man of the mountain