A 5-course tasting menu of Europe’s best restaurants
Who better to give us their personal tips for the best eateries in Europe than a host of top chefs? Join Fred Sirieix on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) for a generous helping of the new gastronomic travelogue, Extraordinary Places to Eat.
In BBC’s mouth-watering new four-part culinary travelogue, host and maître d’ Fred Sirieix is whisked off by four top chefs as they each share their three absolute favourite European gastronomic haunts, and take us along for the trip! We’ll get to meet the chefs, fishermen, bakers and butchers dedicated to delivering perfection on a plate. Whether you’re craving something cheap and cheerful, or your tastes lean towards something decidedly more high-end, we’ve rounded up a 5-course tasting menu of the show’s stand-out eateries to whet your appetite.
Sumptuous seafood at La Coupole
A favourite 1920s haunt of Picasso, Sartre, Matisse and Hemingway, this opulent art-deco Parisian brasserie is chef Michel Roux Jr’s top pick when it comes to classic French dining. Seafood is the house speciality, with over half the menu dedicated to platters of oysters, shellfish, crab and lobster, all prepared at the lavish seafood bar that takes centre stage right at the front of the establishment.
Risotto at Gatto Nero
Chef Angela Hartnett takes Fred to experience a family run restaurant nestled amongst the picturesque, brightly coloured houses of the Venetian fishermen’s island of Burano. Dubbed the king of risotto, Chef Ruggero has ruled over the kitchen at Gatto Nero since 1965. Ruggero’s signature dish is a simple risotto alla buranella, his family’s recipe, which Angela believes is the best risotto you will ever taste in your life. To Angela, Gatto Nero sums up so much of what she loves about Italian food – a family atmosphere and complete dedication to traditional ingredients.
Fish and chips at The Fishmarket
No respected UK food lover’s list would be complete without the perfect fish and chips. On his last stop in Edinburgh, Michelin chef Tom Kerridge takes Fred to The Fishmarket, an upmarket Newhaven chippy that dishes up as many as 700 made-to-order portions of perfectly fried fish and chips every night. From adjusting the frying times for chips based on the varying sugar content of each individual bag of potatoes, to preparing expertly hand-filleted fish fresh off the pier right in front of the restaurant, the chef’s close connection with the produce guarantees the crispy, flaky perfection of every order.
The best steak at Casa Julian
Restaurateur Nisha Katona takes us to Spain in pursuit of the perfect steak. Casa Julian is a family run steakhouse in Tolsa in Northern Spain. Since 1958, they’ve been serving only the Basque “chuleton” steak, a generous rib cut served on the bone, sourced from mature and fattened dairy cows and butchered into cuts of the perfect thickness in the restaurant. The steaks are grilled on a unique inclined grill to keep the juices in, while slow cooking over flame ensures the fat inside renders to deliver soft, melt-in-the-mouth meat. It’s the place where the Michelin starred chefs of the area come for dinner on their nights off – and Fred declares it the best steak he’s had the pleasure of enjoying.
Dessert and coffees at Caffé Florian
For something sweet, we return to Venice with Angela Hartnett. Located in the heart of the famous Piazza San Marco, Caffe Florian is one of the oldest cafes in Europe, rich with history and ornate old-world charm. Violinists serenade guests (a thoughtful program of the day’s, music is provided) as they browse the 57-page menu of cakes and coffees on offer … with a side of classical music. A customer favourite is the decadent chocolate hazelnut & pistachio parfait. To quote host Fred – very, very naughty! But completely worth the splurge!
Extraordinary Places to Eat S1 starts on Thursday 22 August on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174) at 20:00