Some of the big-name chefs very quickly adopted Beaujolais as the centrepiece of their menus including Paul Bocuse, the wine’s most prestigious and probably most loyal ambassador. The chef known as the pope of French cuisine uses Beaujolais wine in simple dishes as well as more sophisticated concoctions such as ‘eggs poached in Beaujolais’.
"The wine of the 21st century"
The triple Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire has nothing but praise for all Beaujolais wines. He likes "the refreshing and lively wines" and believes that "Beaujolais wines today are exactly what we expect of a wine ". “Light”, "reasonable price", “liveliness", "fruity" and "freshness" are what he sees as the qualities of these wines. "This meets many of the requirements of a typical 21st century wine drinker," says Pierre Gagnaire.
The “greatest Michelin-starred chef in the world” of 2015 is certainly bold with his cuisine and has been known to serve his customers quiche with a Beaujolais, red cabbage and tamarillo sorbet.
Georges Blanc, another Michelin triple-starred chef, also very quickly found a place for Beaujolais wines in his Michelin-starred restaurant in Vonnas. He owns another restaurant in the Beaujolais region in Romanèche-Thorins, proof of his attachment to the local terroir.
Beaujolais and excellent young chefs
Top-notch cuisine has spread across the winegrowing areas in the Beaujolais region. The region now has seven Michelin-starred restaurants.
Delphine and Romain Barthe, respectively sommelier and one-starred chef at the Auberge de Clochemerle (Vaux-en-Beaujolais) are part of the young generation of Beaujolais ambassadors. Their restaurant is an elegant blend of heritage, modernity and terroir. One of the dishes you may come across in their surprise menus is roast pigeon with bulgur wheat, celery and preserved kumquats served with a Chénas wine.
They work very closely with winegrowers in the Beaujolais region and in 2015 Romain Barthe jointly won the "Best Chef Winemaker" prize with Claire Chasselay (Domaine Chasselay, Châtillon d'Azergues).
The Beaujolais region, a Franco-Japanese love affair
In Saint-Amour, the aromas of Beaujolais have been paired with exotic flavours from Japan since Masafumi Hamano took over the restaurant 14 février in 2014. Several months later he was awarded a Michelin star for his Franco-Japanese cuisine accompanied by Beaujolais wines. It seems that the Japanese chef was fated to come to Saint-Amour: "I've always loved this village because of its grapevines. And it was here, in 2005, that my wife and I confirmed our marriage vows,” he is quoted as saying in L'Hotellerie-Restauration magazine in 2014.
Proust’s Madeleine for Guy Lassausaie
Guy Lassausaie grew up in the Beaujolais region. Every year at the end of November, the Michelin two-starred chef from Chasselay gives Beaujolais Nouveau wines pride of place, either as an aperitif wine or to enhance his dishes. They are wines synonymous with friendship and sociability. For him, drinking a Beaujolais wine is about "people getting together around the table to enjoy themselves, that's what my profession is all about".