Tuesday, 19 July 2011

How far would you travel to have lunch?

So how far would you go to have your lunch? Let’s say you have the time, you’ve got the money, and you have the inclination. But is there a restaurant, and more importantly a dish that is worth the effort? Yes, I think there is.

There is a restaurant called Tetou in Golfe Juan, a small town between Cannes and Antibes, on the Cote D’Azur of the South of France. The speciality in Tetou is Bouillabaisse.
Bouillabaisse is a dish which originated in the port of  Marseilles, by fishermen who wanted to cook a meal after returning to harbour. They used the cheaper fish like the common rockfish and shellfish which they had caught in their nets, which were not good enough to sell to local restaurants. They cooked them in a cauldron of seawater on a wood fire. They added garlic and fennel to their delicacy .Later tomatoes were added to the mix.

As Marseilles grew in size, so the fame of bouillabaisse spread to Paris where it was served in the more expensive restaurants.  The recipe was improved as its fame spread around the world, and was adapted to different circumstances in different countries. Versions of bouillabaisse are now  found in Portugal (Caldeirada), Spain (Sopa de pescado y marisco) and Italy (Zuppa di pesce) amongst others.
What makes bouillabaisse stand out are the specific Provencal herbs and spices chosen, the special bony fish and the way the broth is served separately from the fish. Bouillabaisse is not so much a dish as a celebration, an exquisite mixture that truly combines everything that is Mediterranean and stores up the flavour in the dish.

Tetou is a restaurant which inspires the best. It is situated right on the beach in Golfe Juan. On a good day the view from the restaurant is only improved by the view in the restaurant and the feeling of satisfaction after lunch.  People fly down from Paris in private jets to Nice, catch a taxi to the restaurant, and then make their way back to Paris in the afternoon. That is a round trip of around a thousand kilometres.
So can the effort really be worth it? As the French would say …….ah oui! Ça vaut le coup!
                                                       Image from www.ehow.co.uk

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