From the famous Cantal cheese to a delicious potato and cheese dish called truffade or a piece of Salers beef, there are endless opportunities to enjoy a tasty meal here in Cantal. Eric Bouyssou, chef and member of the Toques d’Auvergne club, has all of these specialities on the menu of his restaurant in Vic-sur-Cère.
There are around 30 Toques d’Auvergne, chefs who all share a passion for their area and who conjure up flavoursome and authentic dishes. Eric Bouyssou, chef at the Bel Horizon Hotel in Vic sur Cère, is one of them, along with six other celebrated chefs in Cantal. “We respect a quality charter and all firmly believe in the importance of offering a warm experience in our restaurants,” he says standing in front of his traditional copper saucepans, his arms crossed.
Here are some of Cantal’s local specialities on his menu:
The restaurant is also famous for its local fario trout. Eric Bouyssou prepares it in different ways. Is it trout with blue cheese on the menu or am I mistaken? “Nothing of the sort,” says Eric with a big smile on his face. “The trout is actually poached in a light stock but the flesh tends to stay almost blue in colour from being so fresh. I also prepare it à la Vicoise with bacon, almonds, garlic and parsley, or my special Bel Horizon style, with a cider vinegar sauce.”
This exceptional trout has been farmed since 1972 by Noël Vazelle, whose trout farm is based in the village of Polminhac. “Of the 35,000 tonnes of trout produced in France, only 5% are fario trout, because they are more fragile,” explains Noël, who sells 15 tonnes of trout every year, half of which are fario. Compared to the rainbow trout, they are more delicate in taste.”
His favourite recipe? “For me, the simpler, the better! With bacon or an oven baked papillote with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of lemon.”
Fish lovers will also enjoy the salmon in Cantal cheese that Eric Bouyssou also has on his menu. It is of course impossible to talk about Cantal gastronomic delights without mentioning the cheeses for which Auvergne is famous. Cantal PDO cheese is produced all year round in a wider geographical area than Salers cheese. This is also a PDO cheese but only produced on the farm from 15 May to 15 November, with milk from a single herd. Salers cheese is left to mature for a minimum of three months compared to a minimum of thirty days for the Cantal cheese. Definitely worth the wait though!
par Catherine Levesque
le 24 January 2020