For three generations now, the Troisgros family has been welcoming guests in Roanne, only 45 minutes from Lyon. After ten years of training that took him around the world, Michel Troisgros and his wife, Marie-Pierre, returned to the family home to assist Pierre in 1983. They took over the kitchen in 1998, and continue to amaze guests with a combination of regional products and modern flavours.
What made you want to start your career in the kitchen?
My grandfather founded our Maison in 1930, then my father and uncle followed suit, meriting a third Michelin star in 1968. It was only natural that I continue in the family tradition, just as my sons are doing now.
What is your philosophy in the kitchen?
In one word: simplicity, a principle established by my grandfather. This, of course, doesn't stop me from doing things unexpectedly, mischievously, thanks to peripheral elements like acidity found in vinegar, citrus fruits, even milk.
What are your signature dishes?
I am often asked to prepare the traditional Troisgros dish, the famous salmon fillet with sorrel, but my personal signature dishes are, before anything else, seasonal dishes. In spring, for example, I like to make mousseron mushrooms topped with hay-infused milk skin.
Where do you find inspiration?
My travels have inspired me a great deal, especially my trips to Japan. I also inherited the flavours of Italian cuisine from my mother...
How important is tradition in your kitchen?
I recall tradition daily, with certain clients who have been coming to see us for many years. But I refuse to settle into this tradition and focus, first and foremost, on the evolution of our Maison. Troisgros is in constant movement.
What product would you like to introduce to someone coming to France for the first time?
Charolais beef, a type of meat known for its juiciness, tenderness and marbling.
What kind of advice would you give tourists looking for a successful culinary experience while in France?
I would recommend that they go to the market, or the "halles," where they can exchange with the best local producers. Also, they should just sit on a café terrace and soak in the local way of life.
Tell us about your region.
The Roannais is a beautiful, natural area still unknown, and intact. My clients enjoy its diversity: they can explore picturesque villages around the Loire Gorges, hike in the forests of the Forez Mountains, and admire the Romanesque churches of Brionnais.