• Favourite restaurants in the Loire – La Table de la Bergerie

What I love about David Guitton’s food at La Table de la Bergerie is the way he consistently produces dishes that are simple in concept and design but packed with bags of flavour. Portion sizes are also (for me) perfect.  Just enough food to feel perfectly satisfied.

We’ve eaten at La Table many times over the past few years both alone and with clients and have never once had a less an excellent meal. David was rewarded this year with a Michelin star which thankfully has changed nothing in his approach. His food remains, simple, seasonal and beautifully presented.

Many of the dishes he prepares could be done at home if you take out the foams (very in fashion but not for the home cook in my opinion).  The starter of leek velouté with waxy new potatoes and pan friend scallops was bursting with flavour. The main of beef was cooked for 12 hours and served with a butternut squash purée, perfectly roasted carrots, a slice of crispy pan fried foie gras and an intense jus.  I think I could recreate something along the same lines using slow cooked beef cheek. The colour of the plate and the simplicity of the presentation of course play a big part. The dessert was a tiny squidgy chocolate cake (a moelleux au chocolat) served with a potimarron sorbet, a chestnut foam and a shard of crunchiness that I could never reproduce! Take out the foam and the shard however and I’m sure I could recreate the dish in essence.

This is the kind of cooking that Nigel and I both love to eat and to cook ourselves (albeit in a less complicated fashion). Keep it simple and seasonal and you’ll see that you don’t need thousands of ingredients on the plate.

A velouté of leeks with waxy new potatoes and pan fried scallops

A vibrant green spinach and coriander sauce with a fillet of St Pierre

Beef cooked for 12 hours and served with a butternut purée, carrot and pan fried foie gras

A selection of cheeses served a few tiny dressed leaves and some crunchy almonds

Tiny moelleux au chocolat served with a potimarron sorbet, shard of crunchiness and a chestnut foam