place Jean Troisgros
If you want to observe the genealogy of high cuisine, there’s no better observatory than this renowned maison just in front of Roanne’s train station. Once a Hôtel de la gare, it is now an epicentre for the palate, thanks to a casual choice made by its founder, Jean-Baptiste Troisgros, the heir of a glorious lineage of crusaders and previously a cafetier in Chalon-sur-Saône. While looking for a locus amoenus that would be suitable for his sons Jean and Pierre’s joyrides, he came upon this établissement, and was conquered by the nature. A desire for the countryside that was injected in his descendants together with the “virus” of good food. A place originally named after his wife Marie.
Humble origins, therefore, and true passion; study of simplicity and products; genuineness and a touch of acidity. His training was channelled in the golden tracks of great cuisine by the ambitions of the offspring. As an apprentice, he worked at all the sancta sanctorum: Lucas Carton, Fernand Point’s Pyramide, Chez Maxim’s, Crillon… Enough to run his restaurant for which the time came in 1955; one year later the first star began to shine, then in 1965 it was doubled, and tripled in 1968. An unstoppable escalation, culminated with the Meilleur restaurant du monde title, awarded by Gault et Millau in 1972.
Those were the years of nouvelle cuisine and the genius fusion of this duo, mixing countryside seduction with subtle elegance, was a perfect interpretation of the air du temps. Not forgetting a look at Japan, the christening of Gualtiero Marchesi’s genius, the vertiginous intuition that opened the era of creative cuisine. Like that salmon with sorrel, divided and placed on the plate in the kitchen for the first time (following the self service example, once again fusion), precisely calibrated, revolutionary in cut, cooking and concept. A milestone thrown on the dusty certainties of repertoire cuisine.
That orange dart never stopped swimming up the stream of menus, causing the past to short-circuit, and putting the future in a kaleidoscope of homages signed by his son Pierre. Michel Troisgros, house chef since 1982, also perfected his training side by side with the best (Roger Vergé, Alain Chapel, Fredy Girardet, Michel Guérard). He’s the living demonstration of the parental relation that ties contemporary research to nouvelle cuisine, the infinite narration of the possible worlds of every cuisine to come.
Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini
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