Jacky Carles is an institution in his own right: in the heart of the Aveyron gorges, he set up his farm some fifty years ago with one idea in mind: green tourism! And today, we hurry there to taste duck specialties with all the sauces!
Welcome to the Carles farm!
By following the Aveyron valley, between Villefranche de Rouergue and Najac, I arrive in the small village of Monteils and lead me to Carles Farm… In front of the completely renovated old building, Jacques, the owner of the premises awaits us with open arms!
He welcomes us with an enthusiasm and a smile that are a pleasure to see, and with his accent that smells good of the South, he launches us…
Welcome to Aveyron, here the duck is king! My name is Jacky, you come home, you eat, you drink and you laugh!
And off we go for 3 to 4 hours of discovery and enjoyment: first, the farm visit. Along a small path, he shows us his breeding. He raises more 3500 red-headed Muscovy ducks per year, we see them strolling in the meadows and gossiping as we pass! Raised in the open air and grain-fed, he selects them to force-feed them for 13 days. Jacky explains how much he loves his waterfowl, and how he raises his ducks humanely and without torture, with TRUE respect for animal welfare, in total opposition to the industrialists.
Then comes the time to visit behind the scenes: Jacky shows us the processing workshops to arrive in the brass showroom which is also its shop. At the back of the room, in the large fireplace, it's time to discover the 2 large copper cauldrons where our meal simmers in duck fat! Hmm, it smells good… I can't wait to taste it! In the meantime, he serves us rillette toast with an homemade appetizer, enough to make us salivate!
The information to remember
Jacques Carles is the only chef in Europe to have the right to cook in a copper cauldron heated over a wood fire (European Commission agreement), as he puts it so well "in a copper cauldron, a raw and living metal, the food does not taste the same at all”.
Then go one floor higher in the huge dining room, which can accommodate more than 150 guests… On the walls, an exhibition of some photos chosen by his friend Jean-Marie Perier the photographer of the magazine "Salut les Copains", here we are in the yéyés years! We are going to eat in front of Sylvie Vartan, Jacques Dutronc, Françoise Hardy and the Rolling Stones!
This sacred Jacky, he knows a lot of beautiful people… he counts among his friends the great Pierre Bonte, the food critic Gilles Pudlowski, the host Jean-Luc Petitrenaud or even the late jack-of-all-trades Jean-Pierre Coffe!
The chef goes into the kitchen, and here is the mistress of the place who takes over! Using her microphone, the bubbly Dominique gives us the instructions for the meal...
the wine is available in the “cubi”, just next to the “Château La Pompe”
…We get up and we participate, it's atypical but so nice!
First course, first flavors: the oulado (country soup) is placed on the table in terracotta soup tureens, and everyone helps themselves as they wish! Then come the gizzards salad, stuffed necks and small fries with nuts, always delicious…
Behind the glass, we see the "crazy peasant" (2 Gault and Millau hats all the same) fidgeting, I wonder what's going on, we see him take out a brass instrument, with a small container at the end like a funnel… it is a flambado (or Capuchin)! He puts duck fat in it, then in contact with the embers, the iron turns red, the fat turns into oil and ignites, so the meat takes on a smoked taste!
And here is the main course: the coat of duck stuffed with foie gras and its small potatoes with oyster mushrooms that melt in your mouth… Everyone can help themselves! Dominique distributes the dishes on the tables, asks who wants more... it's the country kitchen just how we like it, the one reminiscent of granny's little dishes concocted with love where you serve yourself again, just because it's good! To end this meal, sweet delicacies are to be shared : home-made apple, fig, watermelon or plum pies!
A memorable atypical experience
At that moment, at the same time as the pitchers of coffee are placed on the tables, Dominique, our waitress with a wide smile, takes the microphone!
She draws our attention to this chef, full of good nature, who comes to greet us at our table with a friendly little note in a southern accent that we like to hear, a duck in his hand… no, not the one who poops but a bottle glass filled with small liqueur that he serves us with generosity!
And after well-deserved applause from the whole room under "hip-hip-hip hooray Jacky", Dominique begins to sing! Here we go in an organized cacophony to sing tunes from our childhood (or even that of our parents!)
Ah the little white wine, which we drink under the arbours... On the Champs-Elysées, in the sun, in the rain, at noon or at midnight... lalalalala, lalalala,...
What a good mood: people who didn't know each other 2 hours ago take each other by the shoulders and dance together, just to share a moment of happiness!
That's it "the joy of living well" in Aveyronnaise, it's spending a day in Monteils in this small village hidden in the heart of the Gorges of the Aveyron, and share a moment of simplicity around a good meal cooked by a smiling Jacky who is happy to offer us local and authentic cuisine!
Here, it's a family story, everyone puts his stone to the building: his son Nicolas grows oyster mushrooms and is also in the kitchen, his wife Joelle is the queen of the garden and the cash register and Dominique, his niece is at the service and on the mic! What a great team!
|If you want to make the most of your day, you have to arrive around 11 a.m. to do the visit and the meal ends around 14:30/15 p.m.|
|Menus from €25 to €30 per person – €13 children (free for children under 50) – by reservation only|
|On site, a small exhibition of copper cauldrons and above all a beautiful farm produce shop: pâtés, rillettes, blood sausages, foie gras... all made with duck, not forgetting the homemade soup or oyster mushrooms seasoned with Espelette pepper !|
Everything to make gift baskets for friends, or for personal pleasure!