Bouillabaisse an antique dish 
You must get back to history of very old times to find any trace of recipes of the soups from which the well-known dish was elaborated. First, to make a dish, you need a basic toolkit: ancient Greeks from Phocea already had the cauldron; then, some ingredients: fish becomes a common dish in Persia (450 B.C.).
Apicius (Ist Century), a author for gastronomy whose work was preserved, tells us in his treaty of cuisine that there did be a famous stew along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, that fishermen cooked up by the little beaches. Nothing so fancy -really not-: fishermen at that times found it convenient to make some seawater boil and throw into it some chunks of shredded fish that couldn't be sold.

From the Calanques to Paris
The dish reaches the Parisian tables in 1786, as two men from Marseille open a restaurant in Paris: 'Frères Provençaux'. Goodbye seawater: they cook it in a bouillon, which of course brings up some refinement to the bouillabaisse. During the XIXth Century, French gastronomy picks in a large way from local cuisines. In his famous work'Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine', Alexandre Dumas quotes a recipe of 'roubion' from Marseille: coast fish thrown into a bouillon. Jean Reboul, author of 'La Cuisine Provençale', makes a list of 40 species of fish that may improve the recipe. Glory wouldn't wait much longer! Poet Frederic Mistral's spirit gave an authentic celebration to it -basically, still, a very common dish... At the same time, Mistral provides his own explanation of the Provencal word designing it: 'boui abaisso', meaning "When it boils, turn down the fire."

A recipe for gourmets
So he gave the key to a successful recipe: a fast cooking of fish in a boiling bouillon. Still, of course, every cook has his/her own way of making it up, composing the bouillon, adding various fish, seasoning the 'rouille'. There are as many different recipes, as many interpretations. As summer holidays brought to the coast millions of tourists, the bouillabaisse happened to be often poorly prepared, mostly served as an oily court-bouillon. In ordre to avoid abusive denominations and preserve its well-deserved nobility, chefs introduced a Charte in 1980. According to it, the dish can't be considered as bouillabaisse with less than 4 different species of fish, all from Mediterranea: scorpionfish, white scorpionfish, spiderfish, mullet, John Dory, sea-devil, conger,... The bouillon is served first. Then come the fish already picked out of it and potatoes with rouille and croutons rubbed with garlic, in two distinct dishes. Tasting the bouillabaisse: what a great time!

Renée Lauster for Plus-Shopping
Bernard Loury, Honor of the Vieux-Port 
No one as Marseiller as he is. Still, above his proud prestance of Southerner, Bernard Loury comes from Bourgogne. Could it be the reason why he makes his bouillabaisse better that anyone else? The man definitely is an expert on the Vieux-Port, where the little boats sell their morning catches. Please taste the porgies, mullets and breams he brings back, still frisky, every day around 11AM, and serves simply grilled with a thin trickle of rare olive oil spilled on it. For everything else, his repertoire is the one any ordinary cook who would entertain a deep passion to his products. Carrying attention to the prices in his restaurant, he keeps it wise and simple. His 'moules sauce poulette' (mussels), his 'matelote de fiélas ('conger'), his osso-bucco of sea-devil and his 'roulé de lapin au romarin' (rabbit) confirm his true mastering of his work and an inneate sense of beautiful combinations. The wine list is detailed in products from Provence. A table with no insolence standing out, thanks to rigour, from an ocean of feeding traps for tourists (The Carré Thiars).

Eric Dior
Loury, cook since always 
Bernard Loury, "cook since always" as he describes himself, opened his restaurant in the 70's, right in this merry district spanning from the Place du marché aux huiles to the Quai de Rive-Neuve by the Vieux-Port (the historical harbour).

One of the reasons why he reaches excellence is to be found in his native land of Bourgogne, where he was very well taught. With good reason, he boasts about cooking only traditional products from the land -and there is no doubt about it.


The expression "cuisine du marché" (literally, 'cuisine from the market'), usually made worthless through so many irrelevant uses, is getting back his genuine significance there. On the black slate, he chef only mentions cooked dishes made of the daily purchases from the market: for this Friday of spring, botargo on salad; tuna fish; cuttlefish.
The lovely Ghislaine Loury confides us that every season brings changes: his husband may cook game animals and mushrooms during a season; the next one is dedicated to some variations of recipes involving truffles; then a season as he devotes himself to preparing urchins...
For our lunch, in a 18 Euro menu, we chose: a salad with seafood to begin with -remarkably tasty. Home-made smoked salmon as well couldn't be praised enough. As a main course, facing a painful choice between bouillabaisse and pieds-paquets (a typical dish prepared from pig's trotters and tripe), we opted for the first one, in a 'shortened' version: it can be ordered 'à la carte', served in 3 steps, and at a still very reasonable price. Last, our dessert: we opted for the 4 flavours of sorbet.

The Chef's outfit, of pure white, is as classical as it could be, letting us this about the mythical times of the most prestigious 'cordons bleus' along the 'Route Bleue', the perfect road for a gastronomy tour. The whole cover is exactly in the same touche: white table-clothes and napkins on blue-coated tables, paintings on walls including an big-size Vieux-Port of Marseille expressing in a charming way some elderly realism. Photos tell us smoothly about all the 'People' who had lunch or dinner "Chez Loury"... Actors from La Criée, a prestigious theater on the Vieux-Port, seem to have elected it since Marcel Maréchal as their preference (one may come late, on booking). Lawyers from the Palais de Justice are also used to it. The wine card mostly emphasizes some of the best from the region: red, rosé and white wines as well. How nice it is, as one can order 50cl-bottles or just a glass of wine. For sure, "Chez Loury" definitely deserves being mentioned among the best-value for money restaurants in Marseille. That would be such a loss not to say it again and again!

Open every day except Sunday and holidays
Menu étape Bouillabaisse: 28€; menus from 15€ (noon) and 18€
Menu Saveur d'été: 29€
Outside foreground

Cyril Vombreuse
Restaurant Le Mistral in Marseilles 
He can make the dishes dance, the flavours sing, he makes the colors match and lets spice scream -especially on the grill... Is that to say, cuisine has no secret anymore to Bernard Loury?
That would be too much; even pretentious. Such conceit is not Loury's daily bread... except if the latter is original. It's been 36 years this bon viveur from Bourgogne fights proudly for the colors of a profession he can't imagine with no own value. From his years of hard work, he wants to remember this passion he carried over to his two sons, to the apprentices he trained. As for the business aspect, he wouldn't even consider hooking up the customer with any kind of dumping price at the first glance. Bernard Loury knows the recipes of marketing up to the tines of the fork, but to him, this is "all just lies". By far, he'd better make it clear in his menus, in which the customer will find no less than 16 options, from the entrée to the hors-d'oeuvre. He can also analyze the consumption habits in order not to have too many different prices à la carte, "so that the customers eat accordind to their tastes, not the the costs". However big your appetite may be, Bernard Loury's prowess is to always be able to awake the gourmet who has been sleeping in you. On the pavement side or inside, he is busy doing everything, or almost... It's his wife Ghislaine's task, indeed, to carry the expression "The customer is always right" to the full extent of its meaning. Believe it, you need great skills to awake the tastes and announce "Bouillabaisse in jelly, Octopus salad, Brouillade, Panaché of sorbets flavour herbes de Provence, Grilled bream, Pieds paquets", or "Home-made Foie gras"... The chef's big drama, though, sometimes growing to an obsession, is to face a two-sided speech: "Customers want to be seduced by novelty, but they finally choose to eat what they know best."

Nathalie Fredon
Pieds et paquets marseillais 
Question préalable: doit- on dire «pieds-paquets» ou «pieds et paquets»? Réponse de Bernard Loury, chef de Chez Loury - Le Mistral: «On dit pieds zé paquets.» Rares sont les gastronomes amateurs qui n'ont jamais entendu parler de cette spécialité marseillaise, mais rares aussi sont ceux qui y ont déjà goûté, ou savent même ce que c'est. Réaction la plus répandue: «Ca ressemble aux tripes à la mode de Caen, non?» Une question à laquelle on apportera évidemment une réponse de Normand: oui et non. Oui,' car les pieds et paquets sont effectivement de la tripe. Mais non, car cette tripe n est pas seule: elle est accompagnée de pieds et surtout, elle n'est pas de boeuf comme à Caen, mais de mouton ou, mieux, d'agneau (les pieds aussi). Plus précisément, les pieds et paquets sont de petits carres de tripe d agneau farcis de poitrine de porc et de persillade, roules, termes «a la boutonnière», cuits au vin blanc avec de l'oignon, du piment, des tomates et des pieds d'agneau pendant au moins sept heures. Leur origine est à peu près aussi sûre que l'histoire de la sardine qui aurait bouché le port de Marseille, c'est dire. Certains la font remonter à 1476. Cette année-là, des pieds de mouton (et de veau aussi, d'ailleurs) ont été servis par les moines de Sainte-Trophime d'Arles pour les funérailles de leur camarade, le chanoine Etienne Roberti. C'est du moins ce qu'on lit à peu près partout sur le sujet. Qui était le chanoine Roberti? Etait-ce une gloire locale? On n'en sait rien. En tait, si le nom de Roberti a traverse les siècles, c'est uniquement parce que, à sa mort, ses amis moines ont cuisiné ce qui constitue peut-être l'ancêtre des pieds et paquets. Ce qui prouve qu'il ne faut jamais rien négliger. On raconte aussi que la recette serait née aux abattoirs de Sisteron, spécialisés dans l'agneau. Les équarisseurs y auraient vu un (délicieux) moyen de consommer des abats qui finissaient à la poubelle. C'est la version de Reine Sammut, chef de La Fenière (lire l'encadré): «Les pieds et paquets, c'est le plat le plus représentatif de la Provence. U est né ici à cause de l'agneau de Sisteron, pour ne pas gâcher les abats. Et comme en Provence on aime faire des paquets - comme les alouettes, les farcis-, les tripes sont devenues de petits paquets.»

... suite pieds et paquets 2

Bénédicte CHARLES
Born in Burgundy 
Bernard Loury was born in Burgundy, most likely between two rows of excellent vines, somewhere near Pommard, Aloxe Corton, Nuits-Saint-Georges, or Vosne Romanée... Obviously this left its mark. The wealth and diversity of the soil are at the heart of his business. Loury's cooking is rooted in the country. He has great respect for tradition, which he reinvents day after day for the pleasure of clients and friends alike, or simply for the pleasure of cooking itself. Cooking is an art he loves and the affection is mutual. He enjoys wandering in the Ventoux hills. As soon as the leaves start to change colour in September, boar, pheasant, mushrooms and truffles appear on the menu, which is constantly being adapted to the products he finds at the market. Bernard has become a southerner and adopted Marseille, as lovers of bouillabaisse, sea urchins and grilled sea bass have already discovered. With its central location between the Vieux-Port and the Cours d'Estienne d'Orves, his restaurant is well worth a visit.

Provence Market
Bouillabaisse speciality 
mostly... fish. Fresh caught fish, even frisky whenever possible. Fish are bought every morning along the Quai des Belges: firm flesh, glittering scales, bright eyes. Fishermen know Bernard Loury very well, as he has been walking down the 100-meter long way where they expose their catches. Christian, also known as 'Pistolet' ('Handgun'), specialized in bonitos: most delightful salted, peppered and in marinades of olive oil from the Vallée des Baux; Nana, often well-stocked of sardines Bernard makes in an escabeche sauce; Michel 'the Pacha'... The time used to choose the little fish is essential to making a good "soupe" (which is not just a soup...), which is essential to a good bouillabaisse. Wrasses, scorpionfish, salarias, gudgeons, porgies. Such a brood of little fish brings into this delicious dish a most essential touche. We won't forget, of course, the noble fish, cut apart under the eyes of the guests: scorpions, weevers, congers, sea-devils, John-Dorys, mullets. The last detail lies in the choice of vegetal saviors from the sunny hills, and some people say that the cook, who even expresses dedication to the Mont-Ventoux, brings back long herbal braids from his walks in the countryside, which happen to deepen the flavours of his bouillabaisse in a way you wouldn't see anywhere else. Anatole Nils
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La bonne soupe de poissons

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La soupe de poissons de Bernard Loury bientôt livrée à votre domicile conditionnée en bouteille de 1 L. Bernard Loury a pensé à ceux qui n'ont pas l'occasion de "descendre" à Marseille et de s'attabler devant le fameux potage servi au Restaurant Le Mistral. L'idée a germé un matin sur le marché aux poissons du Vieux-Port et a commencé sa concrétisation quelques jours plus tard par des dégustations de diverses interprétations de la recette. Le chef a transposé dans la préparation en bouteille, le caractère particulier qui fait la renommée de "sa soupe". Les cuisiniers en herbe saisiront vite l'utilisation en apport et renfort de goût lors de préparation de bouillabaisse. Le sourire de Loury en dit long sur le plaisir qu'il prend dans cette nouvelle démarche. ... et du plaisir...ils en auront plein les papilles, les amateurs de soupe de poissons !

CHEZ LOURY - Restaurant "Le Mistral" 3 rue Fortia 13001 Marseille - Tél. +33(0)4 91330973 -
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