Learning to cook Lapin a la Mourtade in Dijon

Posted on February 17, 2012


One of the great things I love about living in Paris is that it gives me the opportunity to discover France. It’s just so easy to hop on a train for a weekend escape.

A friend and I decided for a productive weekend away learning some new food tricks in Dijon which is just 1h40mins from Paris Gare de Lyon – and well worth a visit.

My friend found a personalised day of cooking with American Chef in Dijon, Alex Miles. He welcomed us at the station bright and early and took us for a coffee to warm up before we went shopping for our lunch in the beautiful indoor market. His knowledge of Dijon and french cooking is sincere – we only buy this roquefort because it is one of the two brands left that uses fresh milk, we’ll go to another stand for our chevre (goats cheese) as they have the best here. He is somewhat of a local celebrity having organised a food festival and appears on tv from time to time to discuss anything food or American related.

We then walked to our apartment, which Alex had recommended and is joined to the kitchen where we were to spend the say. The apartment was fabulous – decorated by the designer owner and had everything we needed including tea and coffee, plus a Macbook should we need to look anything up.

The kitchen is actually part of the family house owned by the designer and her husband, a pilot from Air France (from which there is amazing memorabilia dotted around such as a retro Air France sign to an aircraft wing hanging from the ceiling in the lounge). The family were delightful and ended up joining us for our feast of a late lunch.

We made vegetables in puff pastry, lapin a la moutarde with sautee potatoes, a plate of local cheese and hand made bread, all polished off with a millefeuille dietique (it had one layer instead of instead of two!) and a pistachio and pear tarte. Needless to say that all were delicious. We learned a thing or two and were given the recipes before we left.

We also found a lovely little bar/café called Bar Bareuzai which is a cosy stop off for tea and cake in winter, or ice cream in summer.

Sunday morning was spent walking about the city. It reminded me of a small Paris – absolutely beautiful with enough shops, museums and churches to keep us occupied for a day. I would recommend visiting la musee de la vie Bourguignonne for a view of life in Dijon over the years. And follow the city walking trail signed by bronze arrows with owls on, making sure that you stop at Notre Dame to rub the owl with, your left hand, for good luck.

We finished off our weekend with an Sunday lunch on oeufs en meurette (eggs baked in red wine with bacon, onions and mushrooms – delicious!), lamb with dauphinoise and a creme brulee at Grill Le Sauvage.

All in all, a wonderful and productive weekend!


Chef Alex can be found here: www.i-food-france.com

The apartments can be found here: www.luxuryflatindijon.fr

We also heard that the Chapeau Rouge was worth looking into for both accomodation and the restaurant.