Vendée guide : the tasty La Roche sur Yon of Nathan Cretney
Originally from Wales, Chef Nathan Cretney has opened his restaurant Les Reflets in La Roche sur Yon with his partner Solen Pineau. After appearing in the Gault et Millau 2019 awards guide, the restaurant Les Reflets continues its ascent. On the menu: creative and healthy cuisine, reflecting the flavours of the season.
Through his Vendée Guide, the Chef takes us on a tour to discover the gourmet addresses in La Roche sur Yon.
To begin this Vendée Guide, we are going to meet Nathan Cretney in a mythical spot of La Roche sur Yon: the Place Napoléon. Set in the heart of the town, this 3-hectare square, with its four water basins is known for its famous statue of Napoleon, the work of the sculptor, Alfred Émilien O'Hara van Nieuwerkerke. It is also the setting for “Les Animaux de la Place”, created by François Delarozière, the artistic director of the La Machine company and creator of the famous elephant in Nantes. Les Animaux de la Place represents a mechanical bestiary that passers-by can operate, bring the animals to life. Many exotic species have taken up residence here such as pink flamingos, an otter, a crocodile...providing onlookers with a “unique” change of scenery.
L’Opéra des Fromages
Nathan Cretney then takes us to the Opéra des Fromages. This cheese shop, so very French, belongs to Marion Perrin, a food and agriculture engineer, who left everything to take over this business. A job which she is passionate about. It’s here also that the Chef selects the cheeses which will appear on his menus. There are hundreds of French and European cheeses to choose from. Among the selection, we find cheeses from the Vendée, such as Le P'tit Rond Vendéen, produced near Luçon, in the southern region of the Vendée.
After the cheese, it's time to find out where the Chef gets his organic vegetables. To do this, we need to go to the Village de la Vergne, in La Roche sur Yon. The Chef meets Anne-Lise, Manager of the Potager Extraordinaire. Under the Direction of Nicolas Brenon, the Extraordinary Vegetable Garden allows visitors to discover vegetables and plants through fun activities. They can also rediscover forgotten vegetables and seeds such as “Le Gris du Marais”, a grey squash with its delicate sweet taste, and which is native to the Vendée.
The Conservatoire du Potager Extraordinaire has a "Chantiers d'Insertion" agreement. Market gardening serves as a means for unemployed people to find their way back to work.
In 2023, the Potager Extraordinaire will open in Beautour, a tourist site that is intended to be fun with an educational approach. Here people will be able to discover the work of the association and rediscover plants and vegetables like nowhere else with, for example, an experimental vegetable garden or a vegetable library.
Le Musée du Chocolat
Pursuing the “sweet note” idea. Let's go to the Gelencser chocolate factory, which is run by Patrick and Valérie Gelencser. This chocolate factory has five shops in the Vendée as well as the Musée du Chocolat dedicated to the history of chocolate. The Museum traces the history of cocoa from the maya civilisation to modern times via the World’s explorers and the Renaissance period, allowing you to explore this interesting little bean. Besides, this touristic site has a dedicated welcome in English, it's one of the Welcome c'est beau ici members.
Passionate about this brown gold, master chocolatier Patrick Gelencser gladly shares the secret of a good bean-to-bar chocolate.
At the end of the year, the Gelencser chocolate factory is busy preparing delicious chocolate creations that we can discover in the video.
Les Reflets, Nathan Cretney restaurant
Just like Nathan and his partner Solen, the restaurant has a friendly and cosy atmosphere for a unique culinary experience. The Chef's table, close to the kitchens, offers a privileged place to taste the dishes while observing the Chef at work in the kitchen.
For his Vendée guide, Nathan chose to create a recipe featuring an autumn vegetable that is easily found in the Vendée: that is celery. Nathan Cretney has taken up the challenge of transforming it into a creamy risotto with Parmesan cheese and creating a gastronomic dish that will appeal to young and old alike
All you need is celeriac, fresh parmesan, parsley, fresh cream, and a love of local produce! In just a few minutes you have a creative and delicious dish! Enjoy your meal!
Good plan: By subscribing to the newsletter you will receive the dates of the online availability of reservations.