Cunningly aired on TV in the middle of winter, chef Raymond Blanc ventures back to his roots in the Franche-Comté to weave a magical pastiche of the best of France – home, family, food and wine!

In the series on BBC2 “The Very Hungry Frenchman” he shows viewers the country he loves so much and the French recipes that inspired him- starting with his childhood home in the Jura. This is not an area much visited by tourists, but I suspect that many will now explore the region in search of “hidden” or douce France.

Situated south west of Besançon (25 Doubs, Franche Comté), this area is home to Jura wines and Comté cheese – a hard rich alpine cheese that is great for fondue – and a wonderful cheese soufflé created by Raymond. The wines are somewhat out of the ordinary with unfamiliar grape varieties such as Savignin, Poulsard and Trousseau. The most distinctive wine is the Vin Jaune, which is an unfortified white wine which develops under a flor-like strain of yeast!

For the programme he took over the local bistro -the Bistrot de Port Lesney

to find out more about Comté Cheese and a list of stockists see

B&B La Villa Molina, Besancon
B&B La Villa Molina, Besancon

For more on the Franche Comté see

The annual wine festival Percée de Vin Jaune takes place in February

Best rates for hotels in Besancon such as the B&B La Villa Molina in a tree-lined garden with a shaded terrace, located a 5-minute walk from Viotte Train Station.


Travel by train from London to Besancon via TGV

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.