A trip down Chatou’s gastro alley
Let’s not forget that in the Middle Ages, the Foire de Chatou was the place to buy holiday hams. One street in today’s fair, the Boulevard Voltaire, is the living memory of that gastronomic heritage.
Oysters from Brittany and Normandy, fois gras and confits from the Gers, cured hams and sausages from Corsica and Lyon, tripe from Guéménée or the Vire, wines from Bordeaux or Bourgogne. What’s new at this year’s fair? “Bars” offering a wide variety of quality products: a soup bar at Gary, a cocktail bar in the new restaurant Papillus, and a champagne bar manned by a producer from Reims, Éric Jullian.
People come to have fun in a friendly place and enjoy Geneviève Bébin’s celebrated ham on the bone or her suckling pig, freshly spit-roasted before your eyes. Her ham is prepared by hand, following a traditional recipe, just the thing for a genuine gourmet moment.
The Oliveras, specialists in Pata Negra, offer a selection of the best Spanish hams: Serrano, Pata Negra and Bellota.
Yannick Dubois is from Brittany but his speciality is duck. Whether pan-fried foie gras to be eaten on the spot or homemade cassoulet to take away, It’s all delicious, even the pork. As a good Breton, he can’t resist adding cubed pork rillons and tenderloin to his menu. But best of all is Yannick’s humour — to be savoured without moderation.
Marie Lauga has her own fan club of foodies, built over three generations since 1976. You won’t find her address advertised, since her clients come to her by word-of-mouth. At the Foire de Chatou she offers wonderful foie gras sandwiches, to be washed down with a glass of wine from the hills of Gascony.
There is more than ham at the Foire de Chatou, however. You can sample delicious Marennes d’Oléron oysters at Perles de l’Atlantique’s stand or oysters from Normandy at the stand of Emilie Liron.