In 1980, I was working as a chef aboard a luxury yacht when the owner decided to send me to work in some of his favorite restaurants in Europe and learn their recipes.
One of them was L'Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux de Provence.
In the heart of Les Alpilles mountains, just minutes from Arles, Avignon and Saint Rémy de Provence, this five-star hotel/restaurant is a unique destination where gastronomy and well-being are the key to an experience immersed in the Provencal art of living.
For over 60 years, dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth and celebrities including Jean Reno, Hugh Grant, Bono, Pierre Arditi and Johnny Depp have enjoyed the cuisine and ambience of this extraordinary place.
I learned how to make their famous Pommes Gratin Dauphinoise from the late Chef and owner Monsieur Raymond Thuilier and when we opened the Bijou Café in 1986 I adapted the recipe to American tastes and put in on the menu.
We have probably served tons of the creamy, cheese-covered potatoes over the years and have even sent them on a private jet to the owners of the Ritz-Carlton in Kansas!
In "How to eat out and feel good," an article by Kristine Nickel in Monday's health section of the Herald-Tribune, the Bijou Café's potatoes were mentioned as a "whoa" food: Not necessarily good for your diet, but a great dish to splurge on for a festive occasion. And people sure do: our guests bring their own casserole dishes on holidays and we fill them with the partially cooked Pommes, then they finish them at home and serve them piping hot and golden brown and crusty.
No visit to the Bijou is complete without a serving of the "Pommes"! Join us tonight to try them for yourself! Reservations are available now by clicking here.