One of the greatest chefs of the day with three Michelin rosettes to his name, Michel is following in the family tradition as the son and grandson of great chefs. His father and uncle won their first 3-stars from Michelin in 1968 and the family has retained that distinction ever since.
After three hours of review and amicable debate under Michel’s judicious geniality, our jury was offered champagne from the Troisgros label and then two terrific amuse-bouches. The first looked like a small toffee apple, and I thought might be a cherry tomato covered with a glaze dotted with sesame seeds. But its savoury taste surprised me. Then came what looked like a small dark chocolate. No. It was a thin case of pastry that had been dyed black with octopus ink. To my amazement it was filled with the most heavenly taste of liquid truffle and chestnut.
The meal lasted three hours. We began with tiny nems of artichoke, followed by salmon a l'oseille. This was his father's signature dish, which helped launch nouvelle cuisine 40 years ago. When President Mtterrand dined at Troisgros with the local Mayor, they decided that in honour of this dish the train station should be painted salmon pink. Michel confided that it came about by accident. His father was poaching salmon and his grandmother was cooking up a pan of sorrel (oseile) as part of the meal for the staff. On an impulse she tried adding the sorrel to the salmon sauce and the result was history.
We then were served saddle of lamb, as pink as a well-fed baby’s cheeks, with a deliberately charred crust, followed by dim-sums of hazelnut and pear. We drank Sancerre from his own vineyard, and then a fine Bordeaux red from Chateau Bois Malet.
Then we went to the garden for some tiny cakes with our coffee, which included a meringue molle with a taste of ginger and lemon within, and an enchanting tarte of panna cotta. Awesome.