Last Saturday, I strolled in Bordeaux searching for things I can’t find in the country. Don’t get me wrong, I have a very large choice of fine food here in Médoc, but I love the city’s vibe and what it has to offer. Bordeaux is a real gem, studded with ‘épiceries fines‘, ‘caves à vins‘ and ‘chocolatiers‘ in every street corner. The bourgeois flair is mesmerizing. Some cities have a rosy tint, others have shades of gray, but Bordeaux, is well, bordeaux. It’s my favourite colour, from a juicy Chateaubriand, a perfect dress, an elegant glass of wine, Italian shoes and a cashmere scarf – all the things I like.
I am starting a little ‘mini-series‘ on my trips to Bordeaux. There is so much to see and visit every time I go to there, so what a better way to start than with food. Whenever I am in town, I have a few incontournables addresses that are on my to-do list.
Fromagerie Deruelle: Elodie Deruelle opened her fromagerie in April 2011. Why did she open? It was her dream and she chose the location because ‘there’s an excellent bakery opposite‘. With a background in agricultural studies, Elodie spent her formative years farming and worked in Paul Bocuse’s Halle de Lyon before settling in Bordeaux’s booming rue du Pas Saint Georges, right next to the Place Camille Jullian. It’s my favourite part of Bordeaux, as most of the best and original stores are in this area. Elodie is from Bourgogne, so she offers a lot of cheeses from her region, the Brillat-Savarin, l’Epoisses and a big choice of goat’s cheese, which is her favourite type. You will also find extraordinary Saint Marcellin and cervelle de Canut cheeses, as well a an original selection of wines and bread. As soon as I enter her store, the kids immediately beg me for ‘an egg and soldiers with Comté cheese’ dinner, so I always buy a dozen of fresh farm eggs. Her opinion on pasteurized cheeses? ‘Ce n’est pas possible!’ (it is not possible – but she does save a few good quality ones for the pregnant ladies). This fromagerie is beautiful and Elodie is passionate about her work. Fromagerie Deruelle, 66, rue du Pas Saint Georges, 33000 Bordeaux.
Le comptoir Bordelais: This beautiful old-fashioned ‘épicerie’ is owned by Pierre Baudry, who’s ‘Comptoir Arcachonnais’ (in the Arcachon bay) is very popular with the Cap-Ferret-Archachon crowd. Anything you wish for is granted here, from wines, candy, foie gras… all the local specialities. The entertaining and dynamic team is here to guide you – it will be hard to go home empty-handed. Le comptoir Bordelais, 1 bis, rue des Piliers de Tutelle, 33000 Bordeaux.
Maison Servan: This is the gentleman’s épicerie fine where you can have lovely chats with the owner on good eats, Bordeaux, wine and life. I love going there to buy a huge pain Poilâne. He is also a skilled winemaker for various chateaux around Saint-Emilion, and we particularly liked Chateau La Vaisinerie with whom he is the ‘technician’. A sophisticated place to be. Maison Servan, 22 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 33000 Bordeaux.
Pierre Oteiza: This is the holy grail of charcuterie. Pierre Oteiza, from the ‘Vallée des Aldudes’ in France’s Pays Basque, breeds exceptional meat, one of my favourite being the black pig. This is one of their ten stores around France, where you can find all the Oteiza brand products, from hams to pumpkin soup. The store is tiny and magical – I love the Basque black berets and scarves – it’s so farmer chic! Pierre Oteiza, 77 Rue condillac, 33000 Bordeaux.