La Villa Madie, Cassis

July 14, 2015

La Villa Madie was founded in 2007 by Jean-Marc Banzo, who already had two Michelin stars at Le Clos de la Violette in Aix-en-Provence. In 2013, having moved Le Clos into a hotel, he turned the kitchen of La Villa Madie over to Dimitri Droisneau and his wife, Marielle. They had met in the kitchen of La Réserve de Beaulieu, where they both worked, he for seven years. In 2014 the Droisneau took over ownership of La Villa Madie and it earned a second Michelin star. Dimitri Droisneau says: “I feel good in this house. My cuisine is more positive, liberated and even unleashed. My plates have less need for complexity and concentrate on the essential.” That sounds good to me. Linda and I went to La Villa Madie for dinner on June 3, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

The fishing village of Cassis inspired many painters in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. Derain: “Une pinède à Cassis-1907″, Vlaminck, Matisse, Dufy and Signac: “Baie de Cassis, Cap Canaille-1889″ were among the most famous. The Cap Canaille headland, which dominates the view to the east, was their favorite subject. On the corniche to the west of the village is the hotel Les Roches Blanches. Linda and I spent the night of June 3, 2015.

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Pierre Reboul learned his culinary skills in well-known, traditional French kitchens: Michel Chabran; two years with Jacques Pic; Taillevent; Michel Rostang. In 2007 he opened his own restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, attracted by the modern, youthful dynamism of this university city which fit in with his vision of an original cuisine. Linda and I went for dinner on June 2, 2015. 

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Château La Coste sits in rolling vineyards north of Aix-en-Provence. It is owned by reclusive Irish property investor Paddy McKillen and managed by his sister. He has been putting enormous investments into its newly biodynamic vineyards; a new winery, designed by Jean Nouvel, and an Art Centre designed by Tadao Ando alongside the property’s original 1682 villa and farm buildings. Linda and I went for lunch in the café of the art center on June 2, 2015.

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La Bastide de Capelongue is a Relais & Châteaux hotel with a Michelin two-star restaurant within the larger Domaine de Capelongue on the heights above Bonnieux in the Luberon in the heart of Provence. Linda and I went there for the night of June 1, 2015.

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L’Aphrodite, Nice 4

June 9, 2015

David Faure of L’Aphrodite is one of the most versatile of the young chefs in Nice. He promotes niçoise cuisine through Les Toques Brûlées, an association of niçois chefs, of which he is the president. Linda and I returned to Aphrodite, which had just celebrated its tenth anniversary, on May 19, 2015.

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Poséidon, Nice 2

June 2, 2015

A year ago Linda and I had enjoyed an excellent meal at Poséidon shortly after its opening. We returned for dinner with Jean on May 12, 2015. 

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