3 - Fine dining
Home to one restaurant with 2 Michelin stars, six restaurants with 1 Michelin star, the department of the Vendée has, for several years, been regarded as a gastronomic destination.
Alexandre Couillon at La Marine
In Noirmoutier, the "La Marine" restaurant and its chef Alexandre Couillon have joined the gastronomic elite. Recognition is well-deserved. In early 2013 the restaurant won its second star from the Guide Michelin®. And, as good news never comes alone, Gault et Millau awarded Alexandre with five toque. In January 2019, La Marine joined the 180 Best Tables in the World.
In a contemporary black and white décor, facing the fishing port of L'Herbaudière, the chef surprises diners with his creative and meticulously executed dishes that never betray the true nature of the ingredients... Never a detail escapes his wife Céline who oversees the perfect completion of each dish right to the dining room.
Adjoining "La Marine", "La Table d'Elise" is the chef's second restaurant. With simple décor featuring wooden tables, red-painted beams and nautical objects on the walls, Alexandre offers "bistrot cuisine" based on a careful selection of local quality produce of the season.
Thierry Drapeau, the pleasure provocateur
A first in the Vendée: in the idyllic setting of Logis de la Chabotterie, in Saint Sulpice le Verdon, Thierry Drapeau's restaurant now features in the prestigious "Relais et Châteaux" guide.
This is a fine reward for the chef with one Michelin macarons who offers cuisine flavoured by the regions of France that he has visited over the course of his career. His fine and streamlined dishes are full of emotion and sensations. He attaches much importance to the presentation and decoration of his dishes.
Thierry Drapeau is constantly looking to offer unusual dishes using produce from Vendée including the local truffle, which he works into golden turnips au gratin with bone marrow, and a puff brioche with fleur de sel sea salt from the salt marches in Les Sables d'Olonne. His menu includes abalones from Bouin worked with coco beans from the Vendée, Vendée Gros gris snails from Saint Paul en Pareds and hard-boiled eggs from Les Brouzils.
Sébastien Bonavita, one Michelin star in Cayola Bay
At the Cayola restaurant (1 Michelin star) in Château d'Olonne, chef Sébastien Bonavita invites you to sample his creative and refined dishes which combine subtle flavours and colours. The restaurant boasts a magnificent view over Cayola Bay: a truly wonderful place where the sea and fine dining meet.
Nicolas Coutand, Les Genêts, Brem-sur-Mer
Passionate about cooking from a very young age, Nicolas Coutand is 1 Star Chef in the Michelin Guide. In 2009, he was appointed head chef of Les Remparts, a restaurant in Mirepoix. After several successful postings, Amélie and Nicolas Coutand decided to return to their roots and invite others to experience their gourmet restaurant. Les Genêts has set up home in a former town house set in landscaped grounds. Nicolas favours fresh local products and seafood that he loves to craft and enhance. The chef offers a "bistro cuisine" style at lunch and a "fine dining" style for evening meals. The chef was named a "young talent" by the Gault & Millau guide in late 2014 and was awarded two couverts in the 2015 Michelin Guide.
Xavier Giraudet, La Robe, Montaigu
Xavier Giraudet served his apprenticeship and it could almost be said, learned his trade, in Paris, with the great names in French gastronomy. From these years alongside Christian Le Squer, Pierre Gagnaire and Bernard Pineau he has not only gained valuable expertise, but learned to think about the feelings that his dishes should provide. The cuisine developed by Xavier Giraudet is designed to be precise, refined and tasty. It is therefore inspired by the great classics that he reinvents through the seasons and his own inspirations. Recognition arrived in February 2017 with a 1st Michelin star for his restaurant La Robe.
Anthony Lumet, Le Pousse-Pied, La Tranche sur mer
Aged only 27, Anthony Lumet won his first Michelin star in 2018. After gaining experience at La Marine restaurant on the Island of Noirmoutier, he opened his own restaurant Le Pousse-Pied in La Tranche sur Mer, where he regularly serves a short menu focusing on fresh produce from the sea.
Jean-Marc Pérochon, one Michelin star for his restaurant in Brétignolles-sur-Mer
On the wild coast of Brétignolles sur Mer, the restaurant Jean Marc Pérochon was awarded its first star by Guide Rouge Michelin® in 2014. Talented chef, Jean-Marc Pérochon, hails from these parts and is known as a committed ambassador of the region. The chef's menu includes oysters from the oyster farm in nearby La Sauzaie, local shrimps, 100 day-old Challans poultry, line bass fresh from Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, and a hazelnut crumble with kamok (a Vendée coffee liqueur). Piano player, Jean-Marc Pérochon is a man who has travelled around from Germany to the Caribbean, from Provence to the USA. He discovered flavours in the islands and learnt about combinations which always hit the spot: "I memorised scents and got a taste for the exotic with flavours like ginger, vanilla and mango. "