Millions of tourists go on pilgrimages to the fortified monastery island of Mont Saint-Michel each year. Harsh tides upon strong rock foundations once proved a perilous journey toward the commune. It is an exemplar feudal society of old: where God reigns at the topmost abbey, and the great halls form strongholds below. The historic monument, framed by the unparalleled blue sky of the northern regions, between Normandy and Brittany, between land and sea. To this day, this eighth Wonder of the World is home to a mere few 50, a fraction of which are monks and nuns.
Once about the entry of the Norman hallowed fortress was a quaint nook where Annette Poulard comforted weary travelers from around the world with the simplest of French bites. Using all the ingredients this region was known for – butter, fresh eggs and poultry from surrounding farms, saltbush lamb, various seafood – Annette created marvelous recipes cooked in locally made copper equipment, for example the world-famous omelette both and endearingly familiar. The recipe, heavily guarded and seldom recreated in full, must always come with its maker.
Today, La Mère Poulard has become a culinary ambassador of French culture and tradition, spreading its roots far across the globe. Its first Asian feat was in the metropoles of Japan, but the new restaurant opening in Manila, on the ground floor of SM Aura mall in December, offers a brand-new design and menu concept to offer the best of La Mère Poulard tradition and a piece of French culture. Autographs line La Mère Poulard’s walls, documenting the lives of great diners from Hemingway to Saint-Laurent who onced graced its hearth. It’s only a matter of time before the same can be said of contemporary Filipino masters.