Brittany food trip III

More from Brittany whether you like it or not. I've got to do something with all these photographs:


This is the view from Jane and Olivier Roellinger's hotel at Cancale across the oyster beds in the Baie de Mont-St-Michel.

 And one of the Roellinger's lovely gites with well-stocked kitchen garden:

A couple of years ago Roellinger famously gave up his three Michelin stars and closed his restaurant in Cancale, Le Maison du Bricourt, due to ill-health. 

He is now 55, but in his early 20s Roellinger was brutally attacked by a group of youths in St Malo one night, 'For no reason but to make violence,' he told me. 

He spent a year recuperating at home during which he decided to change careers (he had been studying chemistry), to become a chef. His mother agreed to let him take over the entire ground floor of the family manor house to turn it into a restaurant. It took him twenty years to win three Michelin stars and, shortly after he won his third, his mother died. He had promised her to keep going for three more years and did so, but the legacy of that attack in his youth meant that, as he grew older, he found he couldn't stand for the hours required by kitchen work and, rather than carry on with another chef behind the stove (not his style), he has now retired from the kitchen.

Happily, you can still eat some of the dishes that won those three stars in Roellinger's more informal, one-star restaurant, Le Coquillage, in his hotel, the Chateau Richeux just oustide of Cancale. 

This was the staggeringly great spider crab and langoustine dish:


Even better was this modest bowl of home-smoked new potatoes with smoked haddock and super-

piquant vinaigrette which I spotted on the menu and asked for a taste of from the impeccable hotel manager, Rodolphe.

Roellinger is famed for his use of exotic spices, inspired by the history of nearby St Malo as the port of the French East India company and the history of the Maison du Bricourt as the home of a spice trader: here's his famous lobster with vanille:

Sublimely-cooked bar.

And here is Roellinger himself, who kindly took time to show me around his wonderfully aromatic spice shop in Cancale, where he sells his unique, organic, fair trade spice blends.


And, I got to fulfill a long-held ambition to visit the oyster sellers of Cancale.

 Tried a plate of belons, the world famous flat oysters. Bit salty, if I'm really honest.

Way better were the huitres sauvage. Staggeringly good. Probably the best oysters I have ever eaten and to slurp them on the sea wall here has to be one of the world's great gourmet experiences. Though not for the oysters, obviously.

I had quite a few.


Well, seeing as I'd come all this way, it would have been churlish not to have a couple more.

Reckon that's my zinc levels taken care of for a couple of weeks.

 And the money shot. 


+ There are no comments

Add yours