My good friend and chef extraordinaire, Thierry is used to me just dropping in without a reservation, especially at this time of the year. I go there not just because his restaurant is situated in the medieval village Trigance in the spectacular Gorges de Verdon region, but because he is passionate about his métier. At Lou Cafoucho, food is fresh, flavorsome and reasonably priced.I’d had an early morning start and was exhausted after my three hour trek so I allowed Thierry to choose my starter.
My Croustillant de Chèvre au Speck came on a bed of lettuce with a light olive oil dressing. This first course -- goat’s cheese wrapped in ham and enclosed in filo pastry was tender and slightly smoky; the warmed cheese and herbs from Provençe made it deliciously creamy. Thierry then made me a pan bagnat – this is one of Nice’s popular dishes, one which many say is a salad niçoise in a sandwich. Not this one; my pan bagnat came with melt in the mouth lamb, goat’s cheese and dried tomato, perfect with my chilled Rosé.
Thierry talked me into having a dessert – rhubarb tiramisu and strawberry coulis; his version of the Italian classic was moist, light and not too sweet.
As most clients had left so we were able to catch up and discuss the menu. I was curious about my first course, the delicate aroma of the ham; what exactly was Speck? Thierry told me that Speck is a specialty from Tyrol, Italy a ham which is similar to Prosciutto. But unlike Prosciutto, Speck is deboned and cold smoked slowly and much less salty.
And the lamb?
“That came from Brenon, Mme. Rouvier’s farm up in the mountains, and the cheese was made right here in Trigance," he said.
I felt close to to nature today; a day in one of France's most beautiful spots walking around the famous Gorges de Verdon, then this delicious healthy lunch at Lou Cafoucho.
Lou Cafoucho Tel: 04 94 76 92 08.