Amid the tumult of Avignon’s covered market, this tall, intrepid Californian happily rises to the challenge of dishing up delicious French “bistronomy” in this temple to Provençal gastronomy and agriculture – and always has a smile on his face! At his friendly stall between the Nyons olives and Bouzigues oysters, you can choose lunch from the chalkboard menu – or brunch on Sundays – and even join in a Tuesday cookery class (or book a private class).
Jonathan Chiri has been plying his culinary arts since 2002 in the region’s top restaurants like Avignon’s La Mirande, Domaine de la Verrière in Crestet, and Château de Massillan in Uchaux. And as well as that, he slakes his insatiable curiosity by cycling up and down the hills of Provence to get out and meet farmers, wine growers and chefs. He has totally immersed himself in Provençal food and wine culture, all the better to put his own new spin on it – sometimes even adding a touch of New Orleans, where he lived for many years, and whose culinary influence he has never completely shaken off.
After this quick profile of a man who is also unfailingly jovial, genuinely kind-hearted and pays great attention to details and to people, some practical information would be useful.
Lunch is available every day except Mondays (when the covered market is closed) and Tuesdays (reserved for cookery classes or private cookery events). 35 people maximum.
The chalkboard menu offers a daily special (price depends on ingredients, usually from €14 to €18) and cold assortments (sea platter for €20, land platter for €18, etc. These dishes can be shared as an appetizer). All ingredients are from the covered market.
Brunch every Sunday 9.30 to 11 am (the New Orleans brunch is back!)
Take-away picnic baskets.
Cookery classes on Tuesdays, booking required. 8.45 am to 1.30 pm. Everyone decides on the menu together during a tour of the market. Price: €85 per person, meal with drinks included (meal for companions not taking the cooking class, €38). Number of participants: 4 to 12 people for a hands-on cookery class; up to 35 people for a demonstration.
Private cookery classes can be organised on the stand for other dates, and classes can also be laid on at other venues on request.
Cuisine Centr’Halles, aux Halles d’Avignon (place Pie)
T. 33 (0)6 46 89 85 33