Les Bouchons Lyonnais : Can you tell us the names of your chefs and the career paths they followed?
Joseph Viola : After my apprenticeship I worked in a number of Michelin-starred restaurants before I became owner and head chef of my own two bouchons.
LBL : Why did you decide to open a bouchon-style restaurant (generation, family, etc.)?
JV : I opened a Lyon bouchon because I loved using local produce to devise my dishes (cuisine du terroir), the personal contact with customers, and the general atmosphere.
LBL : Does your bouchon have any specialities or particular culinary style?
JV : I was the 2009 world champion foie gras and veal sweetbread pie-maker.
LBL : What dish would you choose to symbolise bouchon cuisine?
JV : I’d go for pike quenelles.
“To be a good restaurant-owner you have to be honest and keep a clean house with quality food.”
LBL : How would you describe Lyon’s gastronomic heritage?
JV : Its typical traditional dishes and new ways of using fresh produce make it part of the city’s history.
LBL : Apart from the actual cooking, what else is different about genuine Lyon bouchons as opposed to other restaurants?
JV : Good bouchons stand out for their setting, welcome, and atmosphere.
LBL : What would you say are the qualities of a good restaurant owner?
JV : To be a good restaurant-owner you have to be honest and keep a clean house with quality food.