L’Oustau de Baumanière
by Abdon FLORES
There are no good or bad names for restaurants, there are simply good or bad restaurants. In order to distinguish and categorize them one must have tried both, good and bad, in order to, after some time, glorify them or despise them. Of course there is that solid statement that a good restaurant makes before n’importe qui, a culinary consequence of years of savoir faire, invention and personal touch that conquers the most demanding client. L’Oustau de Baumanière fulfills either a good name or a solid culinary statement with a 2 Michelin Stars as a background.
Tradition may be the key aspect at L’Oustau since the restaurant was founded back in 1945, and despite a few years of muteness, the kitchen is rather performing. Jean-André Charial is the chef responsible of the 2 Michelin Stars at L’Oustau, a distinction very well known and respected in France. Now, gastronomical restaurants are like laboratories where chefs experiment on how to cook and serve meals. Usually –that’s why they are certified–, the output is so satisfactory that the bill could be overseen. And the idea that you have eaten something unforgettable colonizes your mind. That’s what happens at L’Oustau de Baumanière.
You can add to that conquer the majestic beauty of the environment: Les Alpilles, a miniature of the white Alps that impels a field of charming. Sure, you can add that but the truth is that everything happens in the kitchen. Chef Jean-André Charial states that “for a good cooking, you better cook what appeals to you; in my case is fish, pigeon and vegetables.” Even so, the main course for which L’Oustau is well known is Lamb cooked in a loaf of bread. People come from abroad just to taste this specialty. Formed under the teachings of great chefs like Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel and Frédy Girardet, he has developed some secrets of his own.
Red mullets are another strong dish offered at L’Oustau, as well as blue lobster –there is an aquarium full of them in the kitchen–, veal sweetbreads, and of course pigeon cooked in its innards, an astonishing dish whose taste will accompany you for years to come. In order to assure a culinary heritage, a young chef has been appointed to work along Jean-André Charial. It’s the Britton Glenn Viel. For already two years he has been cooking and realeasing creations like royal shrimp tail on puff pastry, a delicacy convincing the most exigent palate.
French restaurants imply good wines, good French wines. The cellar in L’Oustau is considered the third most important one in all France among the restaurants cellars. Sommelier Gilles Ozzello veils over 50,000 bottles of prestigious wines like Château d’Yquem, Petrus, Romanée Conti, Château Rayas, Clos de Papes… There is even a bottle of Château Lafitte valued in 15,000: it’s a wine from 1897… L’Oustau de Baumanière has its own wine, L’Affectif, a wine only produced in the region that has already an AOP: Baux-de-Provence. So, if in the South, no need to search more. Despite all, the number of celebrities eaten at this venue is so high, the places shines already.
For reservations and more info: www.baumaniere.com