La Ferme de la Ruchotte
Archive July 2009
Yesterday was a picture-perfect day in Burgundy. The sun was shining and the air was crisp and clean after a day of seasonal showers. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue and it seemed to be the perfect excuse to take a drive in the country. Just minutes from the center of Beaune you'll find yourself in one of the most beautiful areas of the region. As you drive down the country roads, you'll meander through the vineyards and little villages filled with stone houses and kitchen gardens and have an opportunity to experience a taste of rural France.
At the end of a lane, about twenty minutes outside Beaune just near the edge of the forest, you'll find La Ferme de la Ruchotte. It is owned and operated by Frédéric and Eva Ménager who have restored the old farmhouse and raise heritage breeds of pigs, goats, lambs and chickens on their biodynamic farm. Monsieur Ménager is known for his advocacy and passionate support for the cause of real chicken, properly fed and reared. As you enter the farm, ancient chicken breeds strut and share the space with a herd of black pigs, roaming freely in a field, rooting to find the perfect patch of mud.
As cooks, we are not restaurant people. We prefer to entertain at home with a group of friends or linger in the kitchen with a glass of wine and create our meals from the seasonal offerings at the market. However, there is one exception noted; the opportunity to sit down for a long, leisurely lunch prepared by a like-minded cook who is passionate about his ingredients and respects the animals that he raises.
As we entered the old farmhouse we were greeted by Madame Ménager and seated at the end of the long harvest table, lined with fall pumpkins, near the vintage wood-burning stove. The menu was written on a slate board and included an aromatic pumpkin and apple soup, wild mushrooms that Monsieur Ménager's mother had delivered to the farm the day before, a perfectly roasted chicken with truffle risotto, local cheese and walnuts, and crêpes Suzette.
At La Ferme de la Ruchotte, the menus are always seasonal and created around the animals raised on the farm. Much has been said lately about the problems with the industrial food system and the disconnection between the food that we eat. We are passionate supporters of the connection between the farmer and the cook and it is even better when the farmer IS the cook. Take note, this is what responsible, truly local eating looks like.