Only Lyon - Tourism and Conventions

Mathieu Viannay
© Claire Morel

Lyon gastronomy: the capital of the connoisseur

Mathieu Viannay, winner of the "Meilleur ouvrier de France" title and 2 star chef at Mère Brazier

Manning the kitchen at Mère Brazier since 2008, Mathieu Viannay takes us behind the scenes at one of Lyon’s greatest culinary institutions where he presents his range of "contemporary classic" dishes.

How would you describe your cooking?

My cooking is very much in line with the  Mère Brazier  tradition, the first woman who earned three stars in the Michelin guide! The "mères lyonnaises" (the cooks known as the ‘Lyonnais Mothers’) produced delicious home cooked dishes with a focus, first and foremost on the ingredients. We have taken the great classics and given them a modern makeover, with examples including our version of the Poularde de Bresse Demi-Deuil, artichoke with foie gras and pâté en croute. We also work with seasonal products from the region. Our menu is constantly changing.

In your view, what makes Lyon so special where gastronomy is concerned?

It's a city where there are many restaurants and above all revolve around genuine culinary savoir-faire and refinement. The people of Lyon are used to the region's excellent products. What's more, when you see what people are buying at Les Halles on Sunday mornings, you realise that with such a demanding clientele you can't skimp where ingredients are concerned. Lyon is known as the capital of Gaul but it's also the capital of the food connoisseur!

Where did you learn about Lyonnais cooking?

I'm a Parisian but I have fond memories of Lyonnais cuisine. I must have been five or six years old and we were at the home of my parent’s friends in the Beaujolais region. I tasted the large chitterling sausages from Lyon and I loved them. I still remember that moment today. What's more, I still love chitterling sausages just as much!

His favourites

The best place to enjoy an andouillette (chitterling sausage) and a quenelle (pike dumpling)?
At Daniel et Denise!

The best place to go for a romantic walk?
I love the banks of the Saône River and the Roman theatre by Fourvière…

The best place to meet the "real" people of Lyon?
At Les Halles Paul Bocuse!

The best place to have fun and party?
It all begins with a drink alongside the Saône river, a wine bar in the Presqu’île district and then a good restaurant …

The best place to buy a souvenir of  Lyon?
At Canova’s, for a high-quality silk item.

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