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Auberge de l’Île Barbe.

Restaurant in town. France,Lyon

Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex

Auberge de l’Île Barbe Lyon 69009

I was born in Lyon in 1965. I wanted to be a pastry chef. I was advised to train at the Hotel Management School of Thonon-les-Bains, and that’s where I discovered the whole restaurant world.

I worked at Million in Albertville, at the Casino of Divonne-Les-Bains, with Pierre Orsi, Didier Clément and at the Onassis family home. The experiences which have left the greatest impression: Pierre Orsi and his rigour - he is one of the best restaurateurs that I know. And the delights of the Onassis home where we had the very best of produce. I also remember my time with Didier Clément, at Le Lion d’Or in Romorantin, where I discovered that my life as a chef would be devoted to the creation of things new.

After my father’s illness, I came home to Lyon, and I took over the family hostelry on Ile Barbe.

The most important moments in my professional life have been winning these stars, something I have dreamed of since a child. They make you forget those moments of doubt and give you a certain degree of serenity.
My cuisine? I try to make it simple, subtle, sexy.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
Lunch at Thomas Keller at 'The French Laundry': absolutely fabulous!

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
One of my pastry chef friends had swapped a gratin for a crème anglaise. The chef was so angry, when the customer had complained about it, that he tipped a bucket of water over his head!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Go to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, on Sunday morning and let yourself be tempted by what you find there. It is good to go with friends so you can exchange opinions and recipes.