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The essence of Lyonnais cuisine are the bouchons, simple pub-like bistros that serve all known forms of pork, offal and other delights for those who have a less delicate disposition.
The Cafe des Federations, with its gingham tablecloths, sawdust on the floors and sausages on the ceiling, is the most celebrated bouchon in Lyon.
In fact, this classic-traditional establishment was also visited and highlighted by Raymond Blanc during his TV series, ‘The Hungry Frenchman’.
Its full-framed dishes included ‘poor man’s caviar’ (lentil salad in a cream sauce), oeufs en meurette(poached egg in a wine sauce), braised calves head and, perhaps the best of all, quenelle de brochette (pike wrapped in spongy puff pastry with a creamy crayfish sauce).
After the French Revolution, many female chefs, or meres Lyonnaises, opened their own restaurants.
A direct descendant of this tradition was Eugenie Brazier, who became the first woman to win three Michelin stars at La Mere Brazier in the Thirties.
It was re-opened a few years ago by Mathieu Viannay, a talented young man, who now has two Michelin stars himself.
He still serves the Lyonnais classics in the beautifully restored restaurant with its original stained glass and array of original private dining rooms, where guests can eat surrounded by the original art deco tiling on the walls.