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David Enjalran, the taste of freedom (video)
In a combination of inspiration and economy, David Enjalran, the chef at L’Esprit du Vin has thrown out the concept of menus and is now highlighting his suppliers’ produce.
David Enjalran is typical of a generation of young chefs who have chosen to cast aside the shackles of ‘the menu.’ These days the chef at L’Esprit du Vin has neither ‘menus’ nor ‘dishes’, but rather ‘workshops.’ This ex-student of Alain Dutournier used to watch the absolute freedom of Pascal Barbot with admiring envy as he created his improvisational cuisine at L’Astrance, a three-starred restaurant. However it required an unfortunate experience before David himself even dared to throw out his own menus. The story is as follows…
In May 2010 our cook ordered a box of asparagus from Maison Robert-Blanc (at Villelaure in the Vaucluse region). At over 15 Euros per kilo he had chosen the very best on the market. However this turned into a catastrophe as the a la carte Asparagus was shunned by diners and the chef had to dispose of it all. After this fiasco he decided to act as saw fit, combining his inspiration with an economic rational.
After writing a letter of intent, his ‘works’ now promote his suppliers and other quality producers with whom he works - Aveyron veal by Maison Conquet, cheeses matured by the Betty company in Toulouse and citrus fruits by Michel Bachès in Perpignan.
Ever inspired by dishes that ‘marry’ land and sea and by rapid and ultra fresh cuisine Enjalran hasn’t lost one iota of his inventiveness. In the dining room, this cuisine requires a certain degree of explanation – a task which is carried out by the chef’s partner, Marion.
L’Esprit du Vin
11, quai Choiseul
Tel: +33 (0)5 63 54 60 44
The Tarn Département Tourist Centre
Where to stay
Hôtel Mercure Albi Bastides
41, bis rue Porta
Tel: 05 63 47 66 66
Situated on the banks of the river Tarn (you can hear the roar of the water below your feet), a few minutes from the town centre by foot, the Mercure Albi Hotel occupies a wonderful building: an old 18th century red brick flour mill. The hotel has a magical view overlooking the Old Bridge, the old Episcopal city and at the top, the impressive Cathedral of St. Cecile. The hotel has 56 rooms, renovated in 2008, a restaurant, and a quality buffet breakfast. It has a convivial atmosphere and rooms from 80 € upwards.