when culinary magic takes over the kitchen of the Château de Vault-de-Lugny


Today, break the bank to go to a very pretty place: head to the Château du Vault-de-Lugny, one of the three Michelin-starred restaurants in Yonne. For the record, thirty years ago, there were nine! That’s three times more!

VAULT-de-LUGNY : You can get there on foot, on horseback or by car. Unless you prefer the train via Avallon, thus allowing you to take a tour of this pretty city, while having taken advantage of this pretty rail journey from Auxerrois. In town, the welcome is friendly at “8.20 pm”, a recent wine bar with multiple solid references (pretty Viré-Clessé from the JP MICHEL estate among others!). As for the BHV (Bar of the town hall) of the enterprising Jérôme SUREAU, he confirms, once again, his status as a bistro-commander, just at the foot of the market (Thursday and Saturday).

As soon as you arrive, you can only be struck by the beauty of the place. This castle, as often, is first and foremost a story of family passion. Elisabeth, the current boss, inherited it a few years ago, on condition that she create something there. A hotel-restaurant, for example! The pugnacious young woman fought valiantly, alone at first, then with Pascal, her husband. Such a secular building often requires some work, respectful of the soul, and the magnificence of the place. With the specialized architect, this is of course paid for.

Franco and Karina reign in the kitchen…

In the kitchen, reigns a formidable chef, of great talent. This chef is the Mauritian Franco BOWANEE, a cook with a fine background, who brought him to the United States in particular. Frank? Even his fellow cooks talk about it with great kindness. In this somewhat individualistic profession, this deserves to be underlined!

In pastry, it is his companion, the smiling Karina who officiates. This fruit lover is on a mission to perfect the end of the meal. Franco and Karina have just had a little Iris, who, with such parents, will enjoy the flavors of both hemispheres! But let’s look back at another momentous year. In 2019, the Château du Vault-de-Lugny won its Michelin star, bringing the address into another category.

That noon, the peacock does not make the wheel, even if discreetly, a swan passes in the distance. Here, it’s a bit like Noah’s Ark, it completes the decor! It is very pleasant to be able to have lunch outside. It was! Elegantly set tables, in unison with this magical place. The homemade Americano is notably accompanied by a delicious “tomato” sphere with a very present taste! Many attentions punctuate this beginning of the meal. The spiced crème brûlée is also delicious, these spices are a bit like the chef’s DNA, being, of course, very finely mastered!

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Finesse and elegance: pure culinary magic!

The dishes are prepared with finesse and elegance. They are accompanied by seasonal vegetables from the nearby vegetable garden. The “Michel HOUELLEBECQ” lobster (we recommend its tasty imitation made by Laurent GERRA in the morning on RTL!) is impeccably cooked. Even a model of its kind.

A most unexpected land-sea dish was this sweetbread with local crayfish. Surprising flavors and lamb’s lettuce for this precise and delicate dish. Food served with friendliness and professionalism. It is then time for the discreet arrival of one of the good dogs of the house, who, like a quadruped butler, makes sure that all is well! Reassured, he can then indulge in one of the favorite pastimes of the canine world: the nap!

“Lady Cerise” is in the spotlight for the desserts…


Pretty desserts in various colors also mark a “little nod” to “Dame Cerise” who deserves it!

It’s a meal where we feasted from start to finish, one might think, vaguely sated, enjoying the coffee and a bas Armagnac “Laberdolive 1986”, of excellent quality. But all good things come to an end, so you have to think about returning to the more ordinary world of rail transport and the Sermizelles-Vézelay station! Platform number one (again, it is unique!). Be careful at the start!

Learn more:

The -: the American billed at 24 euros may seem a bit “expensive”!

The +: a magnificent place, precise and tasty cuisine, in short, a magical moment. And for amateurs, in October, the chef prepares hare à la royale. Surely one of the most successful dishes of French gastronomy, which few cooks really know how to make.

Contact :


Castle of Vault-de-Lugny,

11 Castle Street

Phone: 03.86.34.07.86.

First lunch menu served at 69 euros.

Gauthier PAJONA

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