The Mont-Saint-Michel is a stunning little island, situated near the coast in the west of Normandy at the border of Brittany. It is home to a stunning medieval village dominated by an abbey, the first part of which was built in the year 709.
In 1972, the Mont-Saint-Michel was classified by UNESCO as a masterpiece of world heritage. It is often referred to as, a ”Wonder of the West” and is one of the most visited sites in France.
The tides around the island are amongst the highest in the world. At high tide the Mont-Saint-Michel becomes an island, whilst at low tide it forms part of the extraordinary coastal landscape.
This unique tidal island is also the home to one of France’s most well-known restaurants, Restaurant de la Mère Poulard. Considered an institution, the restaurant was created as an inn in 1888 by Annette Poulard, previously a chamber maid at the abbey, who had married the local baker. For her time, she was an immensely creative and talented cook who has cooked several hundred different dishes.
In the 19th century, the guests of the inn, almost all pilgrims, could only reach the island by land during low tide and they would arrive at the inn at all hours of the day and night. When they arrived the dedicated cook would quickly prepare her special omelette as an appetiser before cooking a more substantial meal.
Although she passed away in 1931 at the age of eighty, Annette Poulard is still one of the most famous female chefs in France. The secret recipe of the soufflé-textured omelette is still prepared at the restaurant and is still seen as one of the most original dishes in France. Tourists and gourmets from all over the world come to taste it.
At the entrance to the restaurant, two cooks in traditional costume beat the mixture of eggs and other secret ingredients in a musical rhythm before the omelette is cooked in a hot pan over a wood fire. It’s magic! And it was a real pleasure to record this special moment for you.
Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté airs every night from Saturday 2 July 2016 on SBS and finishes 24 July 2016. Visit the Taste le Tour website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.