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A Taste of Carcassonne, France

Overview

January 2015

This is a special opportunity for gourmets and wine lovers who wish to discover the grandeur and elegance of the Cuisine de Terroir within the Languedoc region of Southwest France.  The theme of this gastronomic weekend is the Black Truffle of the Perigord. You will enjoy a luxury three-day, two-night stay at the five-star Hôtel de la Cité, which is uniquely situated within the historic Carthar medieval walled city of Carcassonne. Highlights of this two-night stay include a seven-course truffle-inspired dinner (every course will have truffles included as an ingredient) with full wine service at the hotel’s La Barbacane restaurant (Michelin star), a chance to hunt for truffles in the French countryside and a visit to a truffle auction at the Ampélofolies of Carbardès Festival. Also on the trip guests will visit a traditional French market, dinner at local restaurants and visit to a truffle museum. Guests can extend their stay to include three nights upon request and for a supplemental cost).

The Ampélofolies of Carbardès Festival is held annually in the village of Moussoulens, which is located at the base of the Black Mountains. The Festival is little known outside the region, but is well supported by local producers and vintners (whose vineyards produce wine from high-quality AOC Carbardès grape varieties including Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot). The highlight of the informal Festival is the midday truffle auction conducted in the village square - an age-old tradition fiercely regulated and its customs guarded. Prices fetched from buyers reach upwards of £1,000 per kilo.

Other highlights include dinner on Friday night at the locally renowned Comte Roger restaurant, visit a Saturday morning French market in Carcassonne, lunch amongst the locals, and to be taken deep into the French countryside to join a local expert and his highly-trained dog as they search for the black truffle. The weekend has much to offer.

Truffle Market
Hôtel de la Cité

Chef Jérôme Ryon profile
Head Chef Jerome RyonHôtel de la Cité Executive Head Chef Jerome Ryon was born in a small village in La Bresse, a region known for breeding France’s finest poultry, and he recalls sitting in his grandmother’s kitchen as a young boy, watching her prepare regional dishes.

A graduate of the well-known Thonon-les-Bains Hotel and Catering School, where Chef Ryon honed his craft by working for prestigious chefs such as Marc Veyrat at L’Auberge de l’Eridan.

Although Chef Ryon defines his culinary heritage as mainly classical French, he is also extremely open to evolving foreign cuisines. Of all the culinary seasons, he prefers autumn and early winter, with its array of game, mushrooms and truffles (his favourite ingredient).

Chef Ryon is a former winner of the prestigious “Pierre Taittinger International Culinary Award.

 
 
© Brian Smith Associates www.briansmithassociates.co.uk