Pleasure is top of the menu at every Grande Maison Younan Collection residence. Every lunchtime, in the kitchens of the Château de Beauvois and the Château Le Prieuré, the Chefs showcase the best of French gastronomy with a range of gourmet lunches that vary according to the seasons and which give pride of place to dishes filled with colour and local produce. Enjoy!
In the dining room of the Château Le Prieuré, in a natural haven of plants and stones on the banks of the River Loire, the Head Chef Richard Prouteau believes that good living and good food go hand in hand. Le Prieuré’s three-course set menu embraces a wealth of flavours and aromas, all with the special taste of freshly-prepared ingredients. Fish or meat: that is the question. The choice is between the fresh tanginess of a pan-fried herring fillet coated with Panko breadcrumbs served with a melt-in-the-mouth potato and olive salad, or a delicious farm-fresh egg, warm Melba toast topped with slivers of cured ham, and asparagus velouté. Two flavour variations that are equally delightful to the palate. On to the main course, and again it is time to choose. The pollock is served in a court bouillon suffused with exotic aromas. Accompanied by creamed carrots and ginger with a coconut emulsion, this is a colourful dish with subtle flavours. The beef, with its sleek coat of pepper sauce, is accompanied by a wickedly creamy polenta with capers and parmesan. This juicy, flavoursome beef gives pride of place to pleasure. And for the grand finale, cheese or dessert? The selection of cheeses from the Seigneuret cheese specialist in Deux-Sèvres features perfectly-matured farm-produced goat, cow or sheep’s cheese that are mouthfuls of sheer bliss. On a sweet note, the desserts reflect a distinct island influence: a pineapple carpaccio with an exotic coulis, or a luscious baked banana with rum and spices. A burst of sunshine to titillate the taste buds.
At the Château de Beauvois, the Head Chef Régis Guilpain’s “Le Beauvois” menu is themed on the seasonal cusp between winter and the return of spring and offers dishes full of pizzazz and indulgence. The curtain goes up on a duo of salmon, one fresh and one smoked with herbs. Lamb’s lettuce, a delicate balance of dressings and an accompaniment of mini salads lend this starter a pleasant sensation of freshness. The veal is a star turn, treating those who partake to a level of succulence for which they will be prepared to sell their soul. This exquisite tenderloin, with its stuffing of kumquats and roasted seasonal baby vegetables, has sweet-and-sour overtones. The citrus notes are picked up at dessert, with a comforting bread pudding, that will transport you back to your childhood, spiced up by the sharpness of orange and the freshness of a pink grapefruit sorbet. And because good food is the greatest pleasure of all, do not resist the delights of the rich custard with star anise that makes this such a moreish dessert.