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July 20, 2009

‘French chef to open veggie restaurant’ is one of those sentences that you expect never to write. Along with ‘Scotland beats Brazil in World Cup Final’ and ‘Graham Norton to marry Davina McCall’, it just seems so unlikely that it must be a wind-up.

But no, Jean Michel Gauffre, chef patron of La Garrigue, has bought the former Duck’s restaurant on Edinburgh’s Eyre Place and is turning it into a vegetarian bistro called L’Artichaut. Monsieur Gauffre’s present restaurant specialises in dishes from Languedoc: duck, rabbit and the region’s legendary cassoulet take pride of place on the menu. Up until now, Monsieur G has kept any interest in vegetarian food well under wraps but maybe he is on to something. Heather Mills’ new vegan restaurant is getting plenty of attention and an article in The Indie reckons that the rise of the ‘flexitarian’ is putting vegetarian food firmly back on the agenda.

La Garrigue’s website proudly proclaims ‘The duck has gone. Long live L’Artichaut!’ Differing reports have the new venture opening its doors at any point between the start and middle of August. We’ll keep you in the loop.