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Olivier Boizet, was trained when he was very young in the kitchens of the Troisgros family. He is now the chef of the restaurant of Champlong Castle in Villerest.
“I remember the morning when I came back to Roanne. It was cold and I was driving along the heights of Saint-Germain-Laval, which provide a full view of the Roanne Basin. It was wonderful. It was then that I discovered my region and my town. On a culinary level, what I like here is that there are a huge number of small local producers which allow me to offer quality food throughout the year. We have a strong culinary identity and yet at the same time we do not have one specific dish or one leading product. Nevertheless, there is an abundance of good restaurants here, which obviously creates a competitive spirit, as the restaurants have to live up to their reputations, otherwise customers will ignore them.
We do not organise meetings or formal exchanges among chefs, but each one is influenced by the work of his colleagues. I personally try to offer a different menu as the seasons go by. From March to June I prefer using asparagus and morels, during the summer we use tomatoes and then from September to December we principally use mushrooms. I am fortunate as I live in the wonderful setting of Champlong Castle which is situated in 9 hectares of grounds with a golf course next to it. If I like my region it is also due to the variety of its architecture: to the south, there are the “Monts du Lyonnais” and their pink stone buildings, to the east in the direction of Marcigny, stone with golden hues is more often used, whereas in the direction of Vichy, there are houses with fl at roof tiles. Lastly, the pride of Roanne is its basketball team, which won the French Championships in 2007. When the matches do not take place on Saturdays, I always rush to watch them.”