Testimonies

Isabelle Annonier

Isabelle Annonier: Herald of Vendée gastronomy

Isabelle was an accountant but she fell out of love with figures. Isabelle dreamed of green fields and rolling hills. So, Isabelle threw out her account books and balance sheets, and went back to the countryside,  She moved into a small house among the fields. It was not just a whim! Isabelle had a mission: to heighten awareness among both producers and consumers of the vital link between healthy food, a balanced diet, and the farming system that produces it.  She preached the word across the whole county, and beyond.

This determined and charismatic woman is one of the old school. In her farm restaurant, she delights her guests with dishes of bygone days: beef stews, casseroles, ragouts. As the economic crisis deepens, she works wonders with cheaper cuts often scorned in more affluent times. It goes without saying that all the ingredients in her food come from her own land. While the meat simmers, Isabelle takes her guests on a tour of the farm. She share her enthusiasm for everything, from feeding the animals to preparation and distribution of the final products, and shows off the winter and summer gardens.  Isabelle at Moulin Migné never seems to pause for breath...

>> Find out more about the Ferme Auberge Moulin Migné

Claudie Vardelle

Claudie Vardelle: Sardine queen

Claudie Vardelle is a true gourmet, and creator of delicious recipes. She has raised sardine-canning to an art-form, matching the quality of the product with beautiful designs for her tins.
Claudia says, " We have exacting specifications for each recipe. Every season, we select the best fish, usually from the port of Saint Gilles Croix de Vie. In accordance with fishing regulations, we respect the sardine season (from April to September), as well as the environment." She lays down strict rules for the preserving methods of her premium-quality "Perle des Dieux" brand.
Claudie has encouraged the rebirth of local skills, too. Since Vendée sardines have a delicate skin, the preparation and preserving in oil is largely done by hand, keeping traditional methods alive. She has also created a range of "vintage sardines", tins that can be laid down for four years before eating, and which should be turned every six months - just like a good wine.
The "Perle des Dieux" has been a premium brand of preserved fish since 2005.

>> Find out more about the Perle des Dieux canning facility

Caves Michon

Thierry Michon: winegrower in L'Ile d'Olonne

"Our philosophy is to produce the best quality possible capturing all the mineral qualities of the soil, with minimal environmental impact and with the right cosmic balance.
With help from my son Antoine, we apply biodynamic principles and give our vines the utmost attention, as that is ultimately where the wine is made, not in the cellar. Our entire vineyard crop (38 hectares) is harvested and sorted by hand, helped only by horse power, and we use only use natural homoeopathic treatments.
It is this approach which has led to the production of exceptional wines which today are served at some of the finest tables across the world, including at the Noma restaurant in Copenhagen.
We are thrilled when we get messages from customers in Canada, Japan and many other parts, congratulating us on our work!

>> Find out more about the Domaine Saint Nicolas