About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tétou - Finest Bouillabaisse

There are places in the world that define the meaning of ‘legendary’. One of these is a restaurant in a discreet building on the beach just along from the small Riviera village of Golfe-Juan.
Tétou was opened by Ernest Cirio in 1920 (after he was injured, serving in the French Navy during WW I) - and has been owned and run by the same family ever since.
Famous for hosting celebrates ranging from; Robert De Niro, Mick Jagger, Francis Ford Coppola, Diane Kruger, Bruce Willis just to name a few - and just before our visit Clint Eastwood, Brad & Angelina during the recent Cannes Film Festival and Tétou has also hosted another living legend Sir Sean Connery. Tetou is honoured by many for serving possibly the best bouillabaisse in the world.


Dismissed by other French chefs (possibly in envy) - and put on ‘Bucket-Lists’ by the rest of us, this is one of the Côte d'Azur's most famous restaurants, capitalizing on the high society that came here in the 1950s and 1960s. Retaining its Provençal charm despite its high prices, it has thrived for more than 85 years.
Appetizers are limited to platters of charcuterie with slices of fresh melon. The finest bouillabaisse comes at a steep price of just under €100 per person (the version with langoustes comes at €130 is in fact heavenly). Thanks to my 'host' knowing the owners Jacques-Pierre Marquis and his cousin Corrine Cuzzupoli Bruno (grand-daughter of Ernest) and head waiting staff, we had a VIP table at the window / beach side of the restaurant. The Bouillabaisse is served in several courses, first the soup with bread and the famous ‘rouille’ mayonnaise, and then they served us the whole fish and other seafood which was boiled in the soup. The Bouillabaisse has John Dory, red mullet, rascasse and various other local fish, and for a few extra Euros, lobsters as well.
The orange-coloured soup is of a taste and texture that cannot be improved upon, it has been perfected for over 85 years. I must admit a small portion of it went on my trousers, so keen was I - even though it is never ending. This is a feast in itself, trust me - you won't need a starter before and it will be hard to finish a dessert afterwards. Nearly every guest either eats the bouillabaisse or the lobsters as there is little else on the single page menu, that hasn’t changed since they first opened, - don't book if you don't like fish. Nearly all tables enjoy a panoramic view over the sea (possibly the best restaurant on the Côte d'Azur to see dusk).


At the end of our dining experience - Jacques was even more generous - as he allowed me to read through the infamous guest-book that has been kept since they first opened, inside you have doodles from Matisse and notes of appreciation from Charlie Chaplin and nearly anyone else you can think of that has been on the silver-screen or in the arts (painters and musicians alike).
Do not try and just turn up and ask for a table, you will be disappointed - book several months in advance. NB: if you are planning to go, beware - they don’t take credit cards. Tétou are still one of the few places in the world that still do not accept plastic - cash only.

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