At the crossroads between the gourmet specialities of Isère, the wild flavours of the Pilat mountains and the colourful perfumes of the South, Vienne Condrieu is a land of great taste, whose gastronomic history goes back to the Gallo-Roman era… It’s not for nothing that it’s today an unmissable stop-off point of the Valley of Gastronomy®!
Vienne, the starting “Point” of French gastronomy
The history of the Vienne Condrieu area has always been closely linked to cooking: as early as the Gallo-Roman period, recipe books were created and became an example to follow in the Roman Empire.
But it’s the modern history that makes Vienne “the cradle of French gastronomy”. At the beginning of the 20th century, when the French were enjoying their first paid holidays and discovering leisure activities, coaching inns appeared along the famous National 7 road, allowing travellers to eat and rest before heading further south.
La Pyramide, a historic establishment
Sacha Guitry said: “To eat well in France, a Point is all it takes”.
It was in 1925, in Vienne, that chef Fernand Point made his mark on the history of French gastronomy by taking over the family restaurant, which he renamed La Pyramide, in tribute to the Gallo-Roman remains that dot the city, and in particular the obelisk located in front of the restaurant. His establishment was the first Michelin-starred restaurant south of Lyon, followed by that of Michel Chabran in Pont-d’Isère and the famous Pic family in Valence.
Fish from the Rhône, market garden produce from Ampuis, fruit from Pilat… The chef brought the best out of local products in his tasty, finely prepared recipes. He quickly established himself as a great chef and, in 1928, received his first two stars in the Michelin Guide. A few years later, he married Marie-Louise Paulin, or “Mado”, who also contributed to the reputation of the establishment.
At the same time, Fernand Point developed a relationship of trust and friendship with the producers from the region: in particular Joannès Colombier, manager of the Maison Colombier. In 1930, he developed a brandy made from Williams pears, the iconic variety of the time. For years, his friend Fernand Point reserved this beverage for the regulars of his restaurant La Pyramide, then one of the most famous inns of the National 7 highway!
Today, he remains one of the greatest figures in French gastronomy, and for good reason!
- First of all, his size: 1.96 m, 165 kg and 169 cm waist
- In 1933, he was one of the first chefs to obtain three stars in the Michelin guide, along with Eugénie Brazier and Marie Bourgeois.
- La Pyramide still holds the record for the number of years it’s had three Michelin stars: the establishment would keep them until the death of Mado Point, the chef’s wife, in 1986.
- A charismatic figure, he revolutionised gastronomy and trained future renowned chefs, who would in turn make their mark on French gastronomy: Outhier, the Troisgros brothers and the world famous Paul Bocuse.
Patrick Henriroux, a worthy successor
Patrick Henriroux, starred chef at La Ferme de Mougins, and his wife Pascale then took over management of La Pyramide. The first Michelin star was awarded just seven months later, in 1990, followed by a second in 1992, which the restaurant has kept ever since. Patrick Henriroux has preserved the authenticity of the establishment made famous by Fernand Point, but he also modernised the place to make it an exceptional establishment with a modern taste. Since 1999, the hotel has been classified Relais & Châteaux and meets a demanding quality charter.
The Pyramid **
The Pyramide restaurant invites you on a culinary journey through gastronomic cuisine that has been awarded two Michelin stars since 1992. In an ultra contemporary setting, Patrick Henriroux demonstrates expertise that is as discreet as it is unmistakableSee the page
Domaine de Clairefontaine
Another renowned establishment located in Chonas-l’Amballan, in the south of Vienne, Domaine de Clairefontaine is a true haven of peace, serving as a backdrop to the talent of chef Philippe Girardon, Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1997.
This gastronomic restaurant, which has had a Michelin star since 1993, offers tasty, healthy, refined cuisine in the charming setting of the estate’s mansion, a 17th century building that served as a rest house for Lyon’s archbishops.
La table de Philippe Girardon
The gastronomic restaurant serves cuisine with subtle flavors. Philippe Girardon, with the prestigious "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" title, carefully chooses the best local produce, plus fresh herbs and fruit from the garden to make great meals in harmony with nature.See the page
As a land of gastronomy, Vienne and its surroundings cultivate a strong relationship with their producers and craftsmen. From the treasures cultivated in the surrounding market gardens to the specialities created by passionate people, during your stay, don’t forget to try our local products.
The second market in France after Nice, Vienne Market is a perpetual event: market gardeners, cheesemakers, honey producers and even stalls selling clothes and objects of all kinds, it takes place every Saturday in the town’s streets. If you’re lucky, you may even come across some of the region’s great restaurateurs who love their land.
Stores and know-how
Our local craftsmen and shopkeepers welcome you into their stores so you can discover the local specialities. Gift boxes, cheese, charcuterie, wines, fish smoked on the spot… Feel free to visit them and bring back a gourmet souvenir of your stay in our region!