Le Vieux Logis at Tremolat in Perigord Noir

This month our French special gourmet tour led us in this very charming place: "Le Vieux Logis" at Tremolat, located in the western part of Dordogne in a terroir called "Perigord Noir". It is also affiliated to the Relais Chateaux group and federation.

Situated on a wonderful garden, which will capture your sight since the start of your visit, this gourmet restaurant, based in an ancient building of 17th century, is well directed by its own chef resident "Vincent Arnould". Also this place has obtained a Michelin star.

Born March 5, 1970 in Montbéliard, he is currently chef here at the restaurant Le Vieux Logis in Trémolat, on the banks of the Dordogne river in Périgord. In 2007, he was awarded the title of Best Worker of France. This son of a policeman tells how he had to put his hand to the stove at a very young age at home, to help his two sisters, following the untimely death of his mother. One of her two sisters, Myriam, already a fine cook, Vincent received his first courses in this way. Vincent, after studying at the Audincourt hotel school in the Doubs, will make meetings that will be as many decisive stages in his career, as Gerald Passedat and Serge Chenet. In 1998, Vincent Arnould won the Pierre Taittinger Prize and took his first chef's place at the Roy Soleil in Ménerbes, a charming hotel-restaurant in the Luberon near Gordes. In 2000 Le Vieux Logis was looking for a chef and Vincent Arnould volunteered and was accepted. As chef of this restaurant, he was awarded the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France.

After we started with an amuse-bouche, the menu degustation for a fix price of about $95 (Euro 80), took place over our table in a great sequence of courses which have definitely conquered our exigent palates.

The complete experience was amazing and the service impeccable therefore a 20/20 was a must score  grade to this restaurant, too. This region has a lot to offer for its noble ingredients and the chefs who have a great ability in respect the primary qualities of the product. We will be back probably next year to test also the accommodations of this special place of Dordogne.

Dish which had a remarkable paring
Finally, after this light and seductive lunch course sequence, we had the chance to spend some time in the wonderful and romantic rose garden of the property, which is also crossed by a little fresh stream. 

The restaurant has a gracious and charming place indoor to dine that used to be a former tobacco drying house, with a stone and painted wood décor.



Address: centre-ville, 24510 Trémolat, France

Highlight and pics by Luca Centoni


Auberge de La Tour the Hidden Gem of Cantal in France

In the heart of Cantal region in France, there is a little charming village called Marcolès. Surrounded by a bucolic countryside rich of legendary cows which produce some of the best milk and beef in the world, there is the "Auberge de La Tour" with its amazing restaurant.

Chef Renaud Darmanin invites you to discover his Michelin-starred restaurant. With his wife, he took over two years ago the orders of the Auberge de la Tour, in the heart of the Cantalian chestnut grove in this medieval city, labeled "small city of character". "Also this charming stone building dating from the 17th century, with its corner tower and its spiral staircase. The chef Darmanin works only very beautiful fresh products and makes a fine and tasty cuisine, marrying with talent the terroir to spices from here and elsewhere.

Chef Renaud Darmanin
At 33, Renaud Darmanin offers his customers a fine and tasty cuisine, but above all creative. It works exclusively fresh products and constantly values ​​regional products in its plates. And it's not the Michelin Guide's distinction that will distract him from his way of working. This chef is well known in the world of gastronomy. Graduated from the Hotel School of Chamalières in Puy-de-Dôme, he had great experiences in gourmet restaurants in Paris (Le Pré Catelan), Lyon (Paul Bocuse) and Geneva (Le Parc des Eaux-Vives) and the Royal Manotel. Renaud has been rewarded twice by the Gault & Millau Guide: "Young talent" trophy Auvergne in 2014 and "Innovation" trophy Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in 2016. He also received the prize of the initiative by the Hotel Union (UMIH) in the category "Restaurants" for the year 2015.

The brigade and chef Renaud Darmanin with journalist Luca Centoni
We have met him and his amazing staff on June 1st 2018 and came here specifically to try this thrilling gourmet experience, at dinner time. First of all, we immediately noticed the quality and preparation  of the team and so it wasn't a big surprise to expect from them a top level hospitality, during our staying there. "Auberge de La Tour" has very nice rooms completely renewed with modern style and fine decor. They respected even the ancient architecture of the tower.

In the evening we went down the old stone stair to the restaurant and when we sat at the table we immediately met "Sophie Jammet", the chef sommelier, who welcomed us. This woman really impressed us for her ability in pairing wines perfectly to each of the dishes that we have tested. The pics below show the full course tasting including the wine labels.

Mise en Bouche

Tartare de Boeuf Pesto de Fane de Radis au Vieux Salers

Royal de Légumes de Printemps, Herbes Sauvages et Fondue de Cantal

Cabillaud Snacké à la Plancha, Joue de Boeuf, Légumes Fanes, et Copeaux de Boeuf Salers

Plateau de Fromages Affinés d'Ici et Ailleurs 

Pêche... Estragon et Eau de Tomate

Our final score for this French restaurant is 20/20. We think the chef and his team will get another Michelin star in the future because their efforts and dedication are very high. We will be back probably the next year to see how is going. We wish them good luck for the second star. On our end we will submit chef Renaud Darmanin as one of the candidates for Travelscore Chef of the Year 2018.

Chef Renaud Darmanin and Sommelier Sophie Jammet
Chef with his Équipe de Salle and Hotel

In Marcolès you will find also another guy who is a phenomenal producer of Hydromel (ancient wine made with honey). His name is Fabien Kaczmarek and he is a Maître Hydromellier and the owner of  the label "Apis Terrae".

Fabien Kaczmarek

But what is exactly Hydromel? Well Fabien himself tells us....

<<Let it be said, Hydromel is a forgotten wine! Wandering with fabulous poems in whimsical legends, with catchy songs in disillusioned words, this drink has gone through time. It is the oldest known alcoholic drink. Having gone through all ages, its decline is due only to the tremendous growth experienced by wine and beer in our contemporary societies. Too often, wrongly assimilated to the Chouchen popular drink Breton, it knows today a resurgence of popularity. Riding a medieval fashion that has unfortunately monopolized the product, Hydromel is meant to be the bearer of "the drink of the gods", "the divine nectar" or the "magic potion" of Asterix. What is it really? No offense to lovers of vikings, knights and other irreducible Gauls, Hydromel is not only that, it is much more than that ... my company APIS TERRAE tells you the story of a unique and authentic product, fruit of the osmosis between several great kingdoms of the living of which the man is only the modest assembler.>>

Being in Marcolès to test the "Auberge de La Tour" allowed us to discover this wonderful product which is also used on the tables of the same restaurant. Fabien has amazing projects for his company and in a nearby future you will certainly hear about him again. Until then, Go Mr. Kaczmarek!

Auberge de la Tour Marcoles
Place de La Fontaine - 15220 Marcolès, France

Phone: +33 (0) 471469915   email: aubergedelatour15@orange.fr

article and pictures by Luca Centoni