April 23rd, 2014
06:00 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Lyon, France, in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 27, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

If you want to get a bird's-eye view of the importance of the gastronomic traditions of Lyon, France, look no further than the primary school lunchroom in the suburb of Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu.

Sloppy Joes? Pas ici. Think pumpkin soup, chicken blanquette and fromage blanc, all crafted by head chef Marie, who personally comes to the table to serve each of the more than 300 children.

Chef Daniel Boulud grew up on a farm here, attended school here, started washing dishes here - his love of food began here. Now, he's a culinary luminary in his own right, with an eponymous Michelin three-star restaurant, Daniel, in New York City and a growing family of award-winning restaurants around the world.

In the April 27 episode of "Parts Unknown," Anthony Bourdain travels to the gastronomic capital with Boulud to dig up the roots of the region's longstanding tradition of world-renowned chefs.

The second largest city in France "believes absolutely in the power of food," Bourdain asserts.

That conviction is evidenced in the intricate details of a pâté en croûte or perfectly spooned quenelles de brochet (pike).

Fueling Lyon's food tradition is the brigade de cuisine, the military-style hierarchy instituted by Auguste Escoffier: Put your head down, work your way up and always, always answer, "Oui, chef."

The system is a bridge between past and present, master and student.

"A major trunk of the tree," Bourdain says, is Monsieur Paul Bocuse. Boulud worked at Bocuse's flagship, L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, as have many other great chefs.

For Bocuse, the masters were Fernand Point and La Mère Brazier. Eugénie Brazier is the godmother among the boys' club of "la nouvelle cuisine." She was the first chef to have two restaurants each receive three Michelin stars.

"Her influence runs right through every kitchen that's come since, and her graduates carry on her recipes and her traditions," Bourdain says.

Invite a little Lyonnaise magic into your own kitchen with this savory recipe from one of the region's favorite sons.

Stuffed Cheese Pumpkin with Gruyère, Bacon and Walnuts
Serves 10-12
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 3 1/2 hours

Daniel Boulud: "I come from six generations of farmers and tavern owners near Lyon, in the heart of France. At the farm, we ate what we grew long before farm-to-table became fashionable. This built the foundations of my love for the freshest products, and particularly for the natural rhythm of the seasons. My memories of growing up in the tiny village of Saint-Pierre-de-Chandieu are tinted with the recipes of my grandmother Francine and my mother Marie.

I can still see my father selling slices of pumpkin (we called it potiron or citrouille) at the market in the fall because, in France, most people just buy a thick slice to make a soup or perhaps a gratin. My mom, however, would take the whole [pumpkin], cut a large circular cap with a sturdy knife and spoon out the seeds. Then she would stuff the glorious pumpkin with chunks of toasted bread, shredded cheese, bits of bacon, mushrooms and walnuts. She warmed some heavy cream, poured it inside and cooked the whole shebang in the oven. The bread would absorb the cream and the pumpkin flesh would 'feed' itself on this delicious gooey cheesy mélange.

We used a large spoon to dig in. It’s so simple - the humble cooking at the farm, the ideal dish for a family gathering around the table.

The bacon came from our pigs, of course; we grew the pumpkin, we made the bread. My roots reach deep into the countryside, the terroir of France. My grandmother’s recipes became legendary in the family; to this day we recreate them with great pleasure, but this particular dish is my mom’s, and the memories are delicious."

1 kabocha squash (or butternut squash)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cheese pumpkin, approximately 10-12 pounds
1 loaf sourdough bread
1 clove garlic, peeled
3/4 lb smoked bacon, cut into approximately 1/4-inch-thick batons
1 lb wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed (such as porcini, black trumpet or chanterelle)
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups fresh cream
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
1 Tablespoon paprika
1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 bunch chives, sliced
1 lb Gruyère cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the kabocha squash in half, remove the seeds, rub the inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lie the squash, flesh side down, on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until cooked through (check with the tip of a paring knife).

Meanwhile, with a small serrated paring knife, remove a circular cap wide enough to later fill the pumpkin with stuffing (approximately 10 inches in diameter). Cut the sourdough bread into 1-inch-thick slices and toast. Lightly rub the toasted bread with the clove of garlic.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper-towel-lined-plate; keep the bacon fat in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat, and add the mushrooms. Sauté until tender, about 3 minutes, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. When the cooked kabocha squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh with a spoon and cut into a rough dice.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and cream with the ground spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the inside of the pumpkin with salt, pepper and the paprika. Begin filling the pumpkin by starting with a layer of bread, then half of the bacon, half of the walnuts, half of the pumpkin seeds, half of the chives and half of the cheese. Pour in about half of the cream mixture and lightly press down. Repeat with remaining filling ingredients to reach the top of the pumpkin. Pour in the remainder of the cream mixture to reach the rim. Return the cap to the pumpkin and transfer onto an aluminum foil lined baking tray.

Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the cheese pumpkin is cooked though. Serve warm, scooping a bit of the cheese pumpkin from the sides along with the filling.

For more on the art of French cooking, pick up a copy of "Daniel: My Kitchen."

All about Lyon
8 ways Lyon outshines Paris

Previously on "Parts Unknown":
Las Vegas
10 things you didn't know about Las Vegas
7 sure bets for Las Vegas dining
Bourdain strikes vegetarian gold in Punjab
6 secrets of Punjab
The dog-eat-dog turf of Detroit's classic coneys
Tasting Tokyo's treasures
South Africa
Taste the Rainbow Nation
Sicilian food to soothe the soul
10 things to know before visiting Sicily
A sense of place in Copenhagen cuisine
New Mexico
In New Mexico, choose a side: red or green
Bourdain cops to mistake on Frito pie canned chili claim
10 things to know before visiting New Mexico
– Granada, Spain
Traditional tapas in Granada
11 things to know before visiting Spain
Israel, the West Bank and Gaza
In Jerusalem, even food origins are contentious
10 things to know before visiting Israel, the West Bank and Gaza
Bourdain has traditional Palestinian meal
– Congo

SPAM and coq au vin on the Congo River
Peruvian food, from guinea pigs to pisco sours
Peruvian food is having a moment
Make perfect pisco sours and ceviche
South America's pisco enjoys North American revival
Breakfast in Libya
Where fast food tastes like freedom
iReport: In Morocco, eating is the spice of life
Street snacking in Morocco
O Canada! Our home and delicious land
Come for the strip bars, stay for the poutine
Colombian cuisine – from aguardiente to viche
Americans just don’t understand the potato. Colombians do.
Los Angeles Koreatown
The ever-changing flavor of L.A.'s Koreatown
Bridging generations and cultures, one blistering bowl of bibimbap at a time
Los Angeles food trucks are in it for the long haul
Fall in love with Myanmar's cuisine
In Myanmar, drink your tea and eat it too


soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Chuck Anziulewicz

    I watched the Lyon episode last night. Oh mai oui.

    May 1, 2014 at 11:18 am |
  2. Granny

    Loved the show!! Best thing on CNN. Would love that recipe for the pate a choux with the pike and the cream sauce. It looked amazing!

    April 30, 2014 at 5:53 am |
  3. Haukur "Jim" Olafsson

    U outdid yourself Tony, this was your best most outrageous gig, Lyon is the cradle isn't it? Bouloud, was awesome, (even in the little Citroen mishap!) he/ his dad/family hopefully showed the world how great/simple food can/should be made from the farms all around the world! The Lyon Master Bocuse was great as well and it was great that u showed the tru bouchon downtown live as it really is in Lyon! Hope to go there soon again and meet the Master B. Again -/ Jim/Omaha-come visit-! Uwontbdissapointed!

    April 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
  4. decur

    Lyon is a fabulous city- glad its getting written about –

    April 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
  5. Marvin

    We are so fortunate and take so much for granted. The food is plentiful and relatively cheap – we do not have to eat something like that wild hare. Thank you for the article - It makes me feel so fortunate to live in a civilized society. But it is kind of sad that some people have to eat that wild hare.

    April 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
  6. Arnold

    That wild hare looks absolutely disgusting. Sauce of blood, heart, liver and lungs?? CNN should stop publishing about these utterly nauseating tribal foods. What kind of primitive people are these?!! If evolution has stopped in some place, I do not want to know about it.

    April 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
    • decur

      it is not a tribal food but simply the way the french eat. who else would stuff a chicken inside a pigs stomach and charge $500 for the meal?!! Viva la France!!

      April 27, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Vic

        You are right. Even tribal people wouldn't eat something as yucky as that. This is probably a small town with a bunch of inbred people, where their old disgusting traditions continue on without much involvement from the outside civilized world.
        Chicken in Pig's bladder?
        What can be worse than that?
        Perhaps sauce made with lungs and heart and blood may be the only thing worse than that...
        Thanks for the article, now I can scratch one place from my list since I would never, ever go there.

        April 27, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • François

          YES !
          You would never go to France, a very good news !

          April 27, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
    • François

      How did you show your ignorance to the world before the internet?

      April 27, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
    • whatnow2

      This is why people in other countries think we Americans are self-absorbed idiots. Really, you think only the things you like are acceptable as food? Look around the US states and you might be surprised to learn that many things are considered food! We can only hope your attitudes are removed from the genetic code.

      April 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Jar

      Need to stop ordering take out and realize your food was once alive !!

      May 10, 2014 at 1:10 am |
  7. tungsol

    At 1am after a night on the town, nothing is more amazing and satisfying than either MickyD's or chinese food. That rabbit looks like its been embalmed and was used as a prop on the mummy.

    April 27, 2014 at 2:53 am |
    • Marvin

      Well said. That is a pretty accurate description of that rabbit. Even those ancient Egyptian people were more civilized than these people eating a mummified, embalmed wild hare. I lost my appetite. I may have to skip lunch today.

      April 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
  8. charri90

    Reblogged this on Cathy's blog and commented:
    Pumpki n looks good

    April 27, 2014 at 12:48 am |
  9. Suzy Hager

    Many things he'll eat that I wouldn't touch.

    April 26, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
  10. OldSchool

    Wow, that wild hare dish is somethin else...

    April 26, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
  11. Tim

    he gets to eat all the great food around the world while we eat greasy burgers at home. There are exceptions but generally it's true.

    April 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • Arnold

      I'll eat burgers everyday and twice on Sundays. But I am not eating a sauce made with heart, liver, lungs and blood. Look at the picture of that wild hare. Absolutely disgusting!!

      April 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • François

        you must go in a burger factory, very disgusting !

        April 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
      • whatnow2

        But, I just be you love sausage and hotdogs. Perhaps you need to read labels.

        April 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  12. puddintane

    McDs and dope still rule in the US

    April 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
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