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Dining at Restaurant Paul Bocuse

The Bocuse Family are celebrating 100 years at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, near Lyon with a Centenary Menu at Restaurant Paul Bocuse to mark the occasion.

I was privileged to dine here with my son, Daniel and savour a line-up of some of Paul Bocuse’s most iconic dishes, re-interpreted with some small contemporary twists.

This was a superb dinner and polished dining experience. Definitely worthy of a Michelin 3 star experience.

Paul Bocuse (1926-2018), joined his family business in 1954. The restaurant received its 1st Michelin star in 1958; 2nd star in 1962 and 3rd star in 1965. Restaurant Paul Bocuse was awarded 3 stars each year until 2020 when it was (controversially) downgraded to 2 stars.

Daniel Hay, sitting at a table in the Salon Fernand Point, surrounded by fine table settings, crystal glassware, chandeliers, gueridon trolleys, and many staff, dressed in suits, there is a heightened sense of anticipation as the service begins.

Restaurant Paul Bocuse can serve up to 85 guests and opens for both lunch and dinner service from 8pm. There are approximately 40 kitchen staff including 10 chefs in the pastry kitchen. For the Front of House, there are 30 staff including 6 sommeliers.

Centenary Menu

Amuse bouche, sitting on the presentation plate, with a painting of the restaurant.

Blue lobster, refreshed with lemongrass foam, creamy carrot, Ossetra Imperial Caviar is light and refreshing.

Quenelles of lobster and pike perch, sauce Champagne; delicate flavour and texture of lobsters with a rich, lightly caramelised cream and Champagne sauce.

Pike quenelles are a traditional Lyonnais dish with finely chopped pike fish mixed with a panade. Traditionally it is poached and then grilled with a rich sauce. Here, the quenelles are filled with mushrooms and some lobster. The texture is as delicate as it looks in this photo.

La Soupe aux truffes noires Elysée or Truffle soup Elysée – the soup with a hat of fine puff pastry, like a chicken pie, that you must stab to reveal the aromatics of chicken consommé, black truffles and vegetables. Daniel has developed a profound appreciation of how delicious truffles can be!


Under the pastry a savoury soup is revealed. Paul Bocuse created this dish in 1975, when he was presented with the title of Knight of the Legion of Honour by French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing at Elysée Palace.


Le Filet de Sole de Peche Francaise Fernand Point

This classic dish honours the famous Chef Fernand Point, from Vienne. The fillet is lightly cooked, with Hollandaise then gratinéed to give a zabaglione appearance.

A sorbet of Chartreuse verte givrée, offers a palate refreshment of Chlorophyll. 

Bresse chicken PDO (to reflect that it has its own appellation - just like wine)  is cooked in a beef bladder, served with a rich cream sauce and morel mushrooms.

There is a certain drama of watching the waiting staff walk to your table with a curious ‘balloon’. On the gueridon trolley, the waiter then cuts into the balloon, revealing a whole chicken with thin slices of black truffles under the skin. 

La volaille de Bresse AOP en vessie crème aux morilles

The chicken is then expertly cut and presented on a plate with vegetables and morel mushrooms.

Les fromages: Fresh and matured cheeses from the terroir of Rhone-Alps.

The Centenary gourmet creation is made of grand cru Chocolate from Venezuela, puffed rice slivers, lemon caviar.


This is followed by chocolates and for us a tour of the kitchens and wine cellar.

Restaurant Paul Bocuse Kitchens














By the time we are taken on the tour of the kitchen, many chefs have gone for the night and the hot kitchen with the 'red' piano is being immacurately cleaned. There is lots of copper.

The main kitchen looks directly out to the entrance so that the guests are never too removed from the chefs' view.



The Pastry section still has six chefs working with the final courses of the menu.


There is a second pastry kitchen where more preparation takes place.

Wine Cellar

Today, the restaurant offers over 1500 wines and boasts a cellar of 20,000 bottles. Every wine bottle & vintage has its own bar code that is scanned on purchase.

And if you wish, the sommelier can prepare a wax seal of the cork from the bottle that you had with your dinner.





In the cellar, there are port wine tongs to provide some theare at the tableside when a guest purchases an aged port.




This was a superb dinner and polished dining experience. Definitely worthy of a Michelin 3 star experience.

Celia Hay

February 2024

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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