The highlight of our trip to Lyon was a day spent at Plum Lyon – a teaching kitchen run by Lucy, an ex-Pat who lives in Lyon with her French husband and their son. The comfort of a familiar voice and home-y kitchen coupled with Lucy’s relationships and familiarity with the market, vendors and most of all her tres French recipes made it a fantastic experience.
Plum Lyon is tucked into a shy little building on a hill in Lyon – our taxi driver thought we were crazy for wanting to get dropped where we did. The door is discreet but inside is warm and friendly.
This kitchen is made for cooking – and talking, and laughing and learning. The more the day went on, the more I felt like I was just hanging out with a great friend who just happened to be a fantastic teacher-chef.
We met at the kitchen and headed up (Literally, up, up, up a fairly steep hill. I hadn’t worn hiking shoes and Jojo and I don’t do “strenuous” on vacation. We were planning on a stroll through a market. We survived. Oh, and of course it had to be unusually warm in Lyon. Of course.) to Lucy’s neighborhood market where we shopped for the ingredients for lunch. Lucy has a repertoire of recipes that she uses based on the class’s likes and interests and what’s available (and in season) in the market.
We saw so much beautiful produce and met several “producteurs” – an important vendor distinction in a French market. A Producteur is literally the producer of the good you’re buying. He collected the eggs from his chickens, she grew the parsnips, he collected the truffles, she made the cheese, etc as opposed to someone who maybe bought the produce from someone and then brought it to market to sell, or a co-op of growers or farmers who have a “sales” guy. A producteur can tell you about your bread, cheese, meat, veggies, or fruit from the time it started to the time it ended up at the market.
I think I could’ve literally sat in the street and eaten a whole baguette by myself. The smell was just heavenly!
The cured and dried meats were just beautiful! The smells were enough to make my full stomach growl!
And the fresh from the farm meats were just as beautiful. I can’t wait to show you what we ended up cooking! Any guesses? Lucy has a sweet blog : Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook and tons more pictures on her site and blog to look at.