My gourmet itinerary begins in a special place: Mumi, the restaurant where I have been working since May 2019. A place like no other that I can't wait to get back to as soon as I'm gone.
With my team, we take an artisanal, artistic approach. Food that looks good and tastes good. We make it a point of honour to support artisans in the neighbourhood, sourcing things from local producers and designers.
The restaurant is in the heart of Paris: just a few steps from the Louvre, the Pavillons Baltard, the sublime Saint Eustache church and the Halles Centrales, described by Émile Zola as the "Ventre de Paris” or “Paris’s Belly”.
Here we are in the Rue Montorgueil. I love this pedestrian street. It brings together all my favourite things: greengrocers, food shops, bars, good restaurants and some of the oldest shops in Paris. But today, I'm only interested in one shop. La Belle iloise.
It's difficult for me, as a true Breton, not to come here regularly. As soon as I walk in here, I'm like a kid in a candy store. My eyes are drawn to all the tins and their beautiful designs.
Recipe ideas come thick and fast. I decide to go for some of the Cannery's classic products: St. Georges's Sardines in Olive Oil, the iconic Fish Soup and the Spicy Rouille Garlic Sauce to go with it.
Next, I go to my greengrocers, "Terroir d'Avenir", on the Rue du Nil. He is kind of cool because he also owns a dairy (where I like to get my fermented milk, or Gwell in Breton, a key ingredient in many of my recipes), a butchers and a fishmongers, all on the same street. His products are always of excellent quality, from seriously committed producers.
The Rue du Nil really is a gourmet paradise. For lovers of exceptional coffee and chocolate, you'll find what you're looking for at l'Arbre à Café and the Plaq Manufacture de Chocolat.
It's coming up for noon. I'm back at "Mumi". My team is already busy: pots clatter and good smells fill the air.
I decide to make "La bouée quiberonnaise” ("Quiberon buoys”). A recipe in homage to my region and to the essential navigation aids in the sometimes-treacherous seas of Southern Brittany. A recipe full of childhood memories.
After a brisk service, I pay a visit to my friend Quentin Lechat, a pastry chef and fellow Breton. He officiates at the "Novotel Paris les Halles" hotel, less than a hundred metres from the Mumi. There he serves a superb, elegant afternoon tea in the hotel’s glass "bubble", with no added sugar.
One of the best in the city, at a very reasonable price. In July 2019, Quentin won the Paris Grand Prix de la Pâtisserie with his hazelnut and bitter orange dessert in the shape of a Paris cobblestone. A stunning creation.
Late afternoon. I stop by "La Librairie Gourmande" in the Rue Montmartre, with its two floors of cookery books and culinary works of all kinds. I (still) want to buy everything in the store. It’s so hard to choose, but eventually I opt for a manual on the basics of bread making.
It's starting to get dark. I head to Châtelet to catch the metro, line 1, towards Bastille. In twelve minutes, I’m in Rue des Taillandiers, at my friend Romain Bergaud's restaurant Papa Poule. It’s not fancy here. Just good, simple, delicious food. Romain has been one of my best friends for almost 15 years, and I admire what he has accomplished.
His restaurant is establishing itself as one of Paris’s favourite destinations. That's real Breizh Power! My brigade joins me for a delicious meal together. We share the chef's starters, accompanied by a fine bottle of Viognier Saint-Guilhem. We follow that with... a prawn red curry with seasonal baby vegetables.
And to finish, an assortment of desserts, including the chef's famous rice pudding, and the chocolate fondant. The Breton Far (custard tart) and pears poached in spiced wine was also looking extremely tempting, but after such a feast, I had to resist. Until next time.
Follow Romain on Instagram @romain_lecordroch
Romain Bergaud from 'Papa poule' and Romain Le Cordroch.