France’s gastronomic capital is famous for traditional cooking, but a new wave of chefs is now reinventing the classics. Chefs and insiders select their favourite Lyon restaurants old and new
Locals carry knives in Lyon, not for a fight but to cut off a slice of cured sausage, taste some pheasant pâté, rosette or a creamy St Marcellin cheese. Sunday mornings are reserved for a stroll around Les Halles Paul Bocuse, the giant indoor food emporium named after Lyon’s most famous chef. Local bouchon restaurants still offer the robust recipes of Les Mères (the first female chefs), lovingly prepared in the most traditional way. Yet a new guard of inventive chefs – many of whom have trained outside France – is back in Lyon, bringing flair and fusion and being made surprisingly welcome in this very traditional gastronomic spot. I was in Lyon for the 16th Bocuse d’Or, the biennial international chefs’ Olympics (won this time by the US) and caught up with 10 food experts for their pick of the city’s best restaurants.