The food writer Curnonsky once dubbed Georges Blanc’s grandmother the “best cook in the world” – and he was right but what happened?
The first dish was caviar served with crab and it was obviously exciting to reminisce. I first thought of comparing it to one the of the signature dishes we tasted before: https://mesubim.com/2021/09/10/ducasse-louis-xv/ and perhaps that was a bad idea.
Caviar served with crab is a delight and after a mouthful I stopped and called over the maitre d’hotel. I asked politely “why is it so spicy” and he replied, “monsieur I will come back, I will speak with the chef”. After a few minutes he returned and said, “monsieur the spice is Tabasco”. Surprised I thought to myself that’s impossible but true – a catastrophe in my mind: how can you make caviar and crab spicy. Generously they offered a lobster dish as a substitute, a Brittany lobster if you can call it that.
It is tough being a Michelin three star and serving lobster which looks like something served on first class Lufthansa with carrots and dried ravioli. I looked like it came directly out of a microwave – I am not joking. If you look at the texture, it becomes apparent the heat lamps dried out some of the ingredients. The sauce was “who knows” and the description of the dish is magnificent; Multicolore de Homard Bleu au Savagnin Trilogie de Ravioles végétales à l’Ail noir et Cannelloni Arlequin coraillé. This dish is nearing a disgrace even if the lobster was bleu – and it was the best dish of the evening. I ask myself yet again, has Georges Blanc any idea as to what travellers expect in a three star Michelin. If he travelled to see what lobster looks like in other three stars restaurants – you would guess he doesn’t care.
Stuck in a time wrap, George Blanc has succeeded in convincing dinners from all over the globe to come to his village he expanded in Vonnas to include: https://www.georgesblanc.com/en/ Terrible disappointment, I cannot think of how any restaurant with such historical importance serves these tasteless Bresse dishes or other culinary specialities without any real concern. My only explanation is; Georges has worked for so many years doing the same thing over and over again (fed up) he is just living off his past, and doesn’t really care to change things. The old adage,’ if is ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but how can travellers accept to sit in such culinary austerity and praise it – where is Michelin to guide us.
When a friend/chef in Beaune asked how was Gerges Blanc, I showed his the breast dish images and he laughed insisting to give him feedback. I told him the dinner was like being caught in a time warp, and it was only missing the cobwebs. And, when he asked what I paid for the single breast, I pulled up the receipt and €190 for a a Poularde cooked for two, and he broke out barrel laughing. I hadn’t thought of it that way given Georges Blanc has over 30 kitchen staff and a world renowned reputation for his three star Michelin. Its true if the Bresse was perfectly cooked and presented with more effort, and the cuisse (legs) it could be somehow justified in a three star Michelin.
Sadly, this chicken served with a sauce of “who knows” vin Juane accompanied by some Espelette pepper yet again, and a single morellos mushroom who looked like he was drowned in butter. This dish is weird and is in no way representative of what anyone would think of a Poulet de Bresse in any three star Michelin. The dish speaks for itself and it is sad to see how chefs work and think in this day and age. Even if we respect the very traditions which make French Gastronomie, this is not near to the elegance of any French culinary tradition. It isn’t enough to take those classical elements and serve something so blasé.
I guess there comes a time in every chef’s career where they seize to progress and fall into their own broth. This visit to Georges Blanc Village proves no doubt it is a commercial institution as George enters the dinning room and politely takes photos. I don’t regret going there, it is a wonderful environment in Bresse even if it needs to be revamped with a new inspiration.