More than 30 years ago Michel Bras invented his famous gargouillou that is like an elaborate salad with 50 – 80 different flowers, herbs and vegetables depending on season. The signature dish of the Bras restaurant is still one of the best dishes you can have anywhere in the world. The incredible rich and varied flavours on the plate will take you to food paradise and every single ingredient will offer your taste buds the trip of a lifetime. The name of the dish is le gargouillou de jeunes légumes and it literally means “bubbling of young vegetables” and that is what it is.
Most of the world’s best chefs have been around and worked for other great chefs before they are ready to shoulder the responsibility and have enough experience and knowledge to become a chef. Michel Bras was never trained by any chef. The only kitchen he ever worked in before his own was in his mother’s at Lou Mazuc which was the family’s hotel and restaurant. Michel Bras never left his beloved Aubrac in the heart of the central Southern French countryside. He is a selftaught and selfmade man who has perfected his skills for more than three decades. Michel also trained his son Sébastien and together they have become two of the best chefs in the world!
L’Aubrac does not have any specific gastronomical virtue like other famous French regions such as Burgundy, Alsace or the Bordelais, but the Bras family has an amazing ability to create something extraordinary delicious of the simplest ingredients. A single herb or a small vegetable, whatever it is on your plate, you will feel every little atom of its rich flavours. Not many chefs in the world manage to create dish after dish where you actually easily can distinguish every single ingredient and every one of them enriching the overall expression you have. The Bras family grows their own vegetables, flowers and herbs and they have a tremendous respect for them. Michel Bras was born 1946 and he is still harvesting the best ingredients from the family’s gardens every day.
You have to prepare for some driving on twisting back roads in the heart of the French countryside, but the journey is so worth it when you finally arrive. The Bras property was built 1992 and the buildings have all been designed with Aubrac and the region in mind. The contemporary interpretation of the countryside, with long low buildings which are laid out next to an old cattle drive which used to run between the restaurant entrance and the local landmark, the Laguiole parish church. The environmentally friendly buildings are made of local materials such as granite, slate and wood and are perfectly integrated into the surrounding environment.
Michel and his wife Ginette and Sébastien and his wife Véronique are running one of the most amazing restaurants in the world. Their respect and understanding of their surrounding environment, their intelligent and innovative way of getting all out of every single ingredient and their passion result in one of this planet’s most rewarding and phenomenal dinner experiences!
Written by Andy