Lyon’s standing as one of the world’s finest gastronomic destinations is in no small part down to the Méres Lyonnaises, or “Mothers of Lyon”. Originally house cooks for the middle and upper classes, many of these women ultimately became surplus to requirements, so instead opened up their own businesses, serving food that combined grand bourgeoisie cuisine with more humble fare of the kind you might find in a bouchon, hence dishes such as pullet hen with black truffles, and pike quenelle casserole. Leading the way were women like Mére Fillioux and Mére Eugene Brazier, the latter establishing her eponymous restaurant (see The Méres Lyonnaises) on rue Royale, which is also where Paul Bocuse completed his apprenticeship.

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