Outside, the changing of the seasons is marked by falling temperatures and beautifully bright shades which light up the landscape. Autumn heralds leaves’ changing colors – yellows, oranges, browns – and the advent of mushrooms, chestnuts and walnuts: the perfect seasonal ingredients.
From fruit and vegetable market stalls to forests and vegetable gardens, autumn’s arrival is clear to see. This season’s fruit and vegetables are incredibly comforting with their heady fragrances and silky soft textures. The Grande Maison Younan Collection’s restaurant menus feature squash soup, sautéed mushrooms, hazelnut praline and poached pears. At the Hôtel Saint-Martin near Niort, which excels in the art of hospitality, guests are invited to enjoy a mouth-watering seasonal menu. The delicately combined flavors of a warm, soft-boiled egg with sautéed mushrooms and bacon chips create a delightful autumn starter. Cod is served with cabbage and citrus fruit for a dazzling and delicious main course. Foie gras is combined with poached pears and gingerbread while fillet steaks are accompanied by mushroom risotto. In the mood for dessert? You won’t be able to resist the first chestnuts of the season, found in the mini Mont Blanc and chestnut ice-cream.
Between Saumur and Angers, close to the Loire river, the Château Le Prieuré is also paying tribute to autumn. Chef Richard Prouteau has created a dish of bacon-wrapped Rouge des Près beef, served with chard and chanterelle mushrooms and deliciously salty capers and anchovies. Guests will be tempted by free-range chicken with juniper berries, the ultimate autumnal dish featuring figs, mushrooms and hazelnuts for beautifully combined seasonal flavors. Try a brightly colored dessert which combines contrasting temperatures: a beautifully light soufflé made with Cointreau and citrus fruit, served with carrot and orange sorbet. Fans of citrus fruit will love the quinoa millefeuille with praline and caramelized almonds: a truly distinctive dessert.
Towards Tours, the Loire river winds its way around the region’s châteaux. At Le Louis XIII, the Château de Beauvois’ gourmet restaurant, chef Régis Guilpain has created a comprehensive autumn menu, from starters to desserts. Kick things off with mushroom soup and an oxtail and chestnut croquette: the perfect combination of textures and a heavenly taste! The chef’s superb langoustine and John Dory soup with lemongrass, green Berry lentils, sweetbreads and kidneys (a local specialty in Tours) served with tagliatelle have all the warmth you’ll need on a cold autumn day. The final touch: pears poached in maple syrup, gingerbread crème brûlée and fleur de sel salted caramel ice-cream. With their sweetly caramelized, spicy taste of childhood, pears are always a delectable treat.
Autumn is just the season to put delicious ingredients to use to create truly comforting dishes. See the Grande Maison Younan Collection’s restaurant menus: