Summer Favourites on the Côte d’Azur
TEXT:KIKI DEERE | PHOTOS © LE MAGELLAN
Every morning, a trusted fisherman supplies executive chef Bruno Tenailleau of Le Magellan, with fresh catch, providing him with the freshest of ingredients for his customers.
The focus at Le Magellan, a breezy restaurant on the French Riviera, just half an hour’s drive south of Cannes, is serving freshly prepared contemporary cuisine using local ingredients. “Fish and seafood comes right from the Mediterranean Sea, citrus fruits are from nearby Menton, olive oil is from a local mill in Provence, while our greens are from a local supplier who cares deeply about organic produce,” explains executive chef Bruno Tenailleau.
Located in a former soap factory, Le Magellan has an enviable seafront location, with a private stretch of beach lined with sunbeds and sandy-coloured parasols that is the perfect spot at which to wind down and relax on a hot summer’s day. The restaurant offers valet service in summer, while private boats and water taxis dock at the nearby marina of Théoule-sur-Mer, which lies a short walk away.
“Our cuisine is exceptionally light and refreshing, making it ideal for the warmer months of the year. Our sauces are strictly homemade, complementing the dishes without hiding the flavours of the ingredients. On the contrary, the sauces we create aim to bring out the natural flavours and aromas of each ingredient used. We only use olive oil in our dishes – there are no dollops of cream here,” continues Bruno Tenailleau. On the menu, you’ll find roasted jumbo shrimps served with a zesty lemon thyme and smoked yoghurt sauce, while fish stew is accompanied by a refreshing orange fennel sauce.
Simple cooking techniques such as grilling and roasting are used to enhance and intensify the flavours of the dishes (think grilled spiny lobster and roasted monkfish with chorizo). There’s no shortage of creativity either: you’ll find lemon-, raspberry- and muscat-flavoured oysters too. But the menu isn’t all about fish and seafood. There’s beef tenderloin with rosemary and garlic and, bien sûr, duck foie gras, served with citrus fruits that add a welcoming kick. Vegetables are also used creatively and feature in desserts such as fennel tart with carrot coulis and Madagascan vanilla ice-cream.
The beach lounge is a major draw, with its cushioned seating and soothing jazz and soul sounds creating a stylish, laidback vibe. “Each year, our experienced barmen create new and exciting cocktails using refreshing ingredients such as ginger and raspberries to make the perfect summer drink,” explains restaurant manager Laurent Combacal. Live music further adds to the atmosphere on Friday evenings and on Sunday lunchtimes, creating a relaxed, classy ambiance.
Grilled fish and a refreshing cocktail – how better a warm summer’s day by the beach?