In France, it is almost rude to serve tap water, as the country is home to many very famous and state endorsed sources of pure water, bottled under very strict conditions. Vichy, Evian, Perrier and...Badoit are some of the most famous names.
All these "thermal waters" were regulated by the government arount 1850 and some like Vichy carry the name Vichy-Etat, to reinforce that stamp of approval.
Vichy is famous for its liver treatment sand should not be drunk on a daily basis, as it is medicine really, Evian is the less mineralised and is mostly used in baby bottles, but has also acquired an international following because of its neutral taste (some would say its total absence of taste...), as well as Perrier, which is actually harvested in the plains near Montpellier, and has the biggest bubbles. In my opinion, it is the less elegant of all, but still is the most renown abroad. Badoit is the most elegant and has the finest bubbles, and has used this finesse to market itself as the Champagne water and the preferred choice of the Michelin starred Chefs. It is slowly starting to become available internationally and can be found in selected grocery stores in Australia like Harris Farm and some IGA supermarkets.
Badoit has recently organised a dinner in a metro carriage for 400 people served in 30 minutes!. Called Badoit Express, it managed to serve 400 haute cuisine dinners in a regional train carriage (RER) prepared by Thierry Marx. According to "Entre Chefs", from Hong-Kong to Singapore, passing through Thailand, Japan and Australia, it was a long road before Thierry Marx finally settled down at the Château of Cordeillan-Bages in the Médoc, where his restaurant is currently one of the most talked about. So it is not surprising this two-star chef describes his cooking as "planetary cooking" and is a great advocate of being open-minded towards different countries and cultures. The logistics were quite a challenge, but, checking the video below, you will see that my fellow Parisians enjoyed every morsel of it!
Pierre Labancz in Rozelle is the 4th owner of what was Moana Bakery before. It was started over 15 years ago by Laurent and his wife and has been my "local" for all these years.
Since Pierre and his wife Diane took over a little over a year ago, it has steadily improved, and so have their patronage.
It is common view in France that you cannot be a Boulanger Patissier and be good at both trades...but Pierre makes a lie of that saying, having fixed the steam oven left poorly maintained by the previous owners. Now the baguettes are "croustillantes" and the croissants certainly out there within my top three in Sydney. They are certainly healthier than those of Michel at C'est Bon, as they are not dripping with butter, but are rich enough to satisfy all but the most fastidious croissant lover.
One thing in common between Jean-Claude at Choco Cannelle, Michel at C'est Bon and Pierrre is that they are all artisans, passionate about their trade and modest in their achievements, Keep up the good job, mes amis...
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
A link here for our non-metric readers: