For anyone that loves food, to eat, look at, or cook with, Les Halles Paul Bocuse, named after Lyon’s most famous living chef, are a fantasy of gastronomic wonders, a temple to the highest quality foods that France can produce; all displayed as meticulously as new-season handbags in a designer store. Polished and sleek, this indoor market hall’s stalls and shops are carefully zoned- there are the chocolate stalls, such as Sevre Maitre, with its trays of perfect mendiants and hand-made confectionery, patisseries whose glass cases protect rainbow-iced cakes like precious artworks and shelves of macarons; crisp buttons of coral, pistachio and lilac, flavoured with basil, passion fruit- even foie gras- and sold in ribboned boxes.
There are cheese stalls, local specialities piled in waxed paper- Raclette, Rhone-Alpes, Tomme de Savoie- and orange salamis so strong that dogs half a mile away whimper in their sleep. And alongside the tanks of scarlet lobsters at Boissy, and trays of sugar pumpkins the size of cannonballs at Bahadourian, there are places to eat this food. By 11am, crowds are already forming at the oyster counter, glasses of wine at their elbows, plate of silvery shells before them; and every few yards there is another little restaurant offering the days’ specials- fish, Morroccan tagine, patisserie... Everyone here is talking only about food, thinking only of food, pointing, choosing, and tasting. Whole queues of chefs listen to reverent descriptions of cheese, well-behaved children gaze at heaped dishes of sugared almonds. It is food heaven, and there is nowhere else quite like it.
In the Mood
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Bocuse in Your Kitchen: Simple French Recipes for the Home Chef - Paul Bocuse
Bouchons : Brasseries & Restaurants Lyonnais [French] - Matthieu Flory.
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being- (partly filmed in Lyon)
The Essential Jean Michel Jarre (from Lyon)
Short Stories - Franck Avitabile (from Lyon)