I WON’T dwell on how we found this place. It is not as yet, after four years, even on Google, let alone Tripadviser. There is a roundabout under the D42 outside of Bram, cross over the canal du midi, a small sign says table de fermiere, a stony, dusty track leads to closed metal gates that miraculously start to open…in the car park are two dogs and one car. Philippe comes out into the garden in full chef whites (and this a hot day) and apologises that he only takes reservations and points to the 40 euro menu on the garden fence. Oh? But..he could, at a pinch, offer the menu of the day for 12 euros. No choice. We are in the garden. As it happens we had accidentally rumbled on a farmhouse he is renovating, a chef of extraordinary talent, quietly doing his own thing, originally it was goats, but now his own charcuterie and bread and working with small producers and cooking what he feels like…he is hoping to open the barn for tea dances on Sundays later in the year.
Entries for this year’s sandwich-of-the-year are now formally closed:
In fact, as he explains, it is sardine with pesto, some tomato and pepper coulis on homemade bread that has been toasted, some leaves and some melon…here is the deconstructed image a bit later..
Entries for the good-value-single-plate-of-food are also now closed:
At the centre is a ratatouille on which there is a perfectly poached egg, to one side are the home cured meats, including foie, duck and jambon thick cut, and to the other the local cheese of which the one in the middle is a re-working of Roquefort with his own butter and cream, to the left an exemplary fresh goat.
Plus you also get the butter which has truffles in it…And a glass of wine included in the price…in fact not content with the above we were also given, I ought to say donated, the dessert from the main menu which was this…which might look a shade dated but when it is performed to this level it is a privilege, the olive oil and balsamic spiking the sauce, the cherries mingling with the red fruits, the ice cream, the honeycomb, the textures. That is 3 stars Michelin in anyone’s notebook. Here is the messed up version:
And a little extra present came with coffee which was meringue spiked with chlorophyll, and of course chocolateObserve the bill if you will:
You need to book at least 48 hours ahead, the dining room is old school farmhouse, service exemplary from Fabienne. I am not sure there are (m)any chefs in the UK trained to this level of skill. The 12 euro menu is available most days, if you happen to be passing. The web site alas, is still under construction. The nearest airport is Carcassone, about 20 miles away.
La Table Fermeire, gastronomie paysanne sur reservation
Bram 11150, France, Tel +33468793458 mobile +33623911574 email@example.com