Lyonnais Bouchons

A bouchon (which literally means “cork”) is a typical Lyonnais restaurant which takes you back to the cuisine of “mères Lyonnaises”, those Lyonnais home cooks working for affluent families that set up their own business in Lyon in the 19th century. Bouchons are characterized by uncommon, timeless atmosphere and decoration. They are easily recognized by the round wine glasses and checked tablecloths set on the wooden tables, among copper pots, earthenware and pictures hanging on the walls. They serve simple, traditional dishes based on fresh produce, along with the compulsory “pot Lyonnais”: a bottle that contains exactly 46cl of wine.

Bouchons are all about conviviality, generosity, sharing great food and enjoying oneself with friends, just like you would at home. Joseph Viola is the youngest child in a family of seven children, so he was used to sharing meals at the large family table. Since 2004, he and his wife Françoise have been hosting guests in their Lyonnais bouchons as a way of sharing this vibrant, modern cuisine that celebrates life’s little pleasures on a daily basis.

Daniel & Denise belong to the “Bouchons Lyonnais” organization, which was created in 2012 and headed by Chef Viola for several years, in order to preserve and perpetuate the Lyonnais culinary tradition.

"For me, ‘la cuisine canaille’ is sitting together around a communal table to have a feast. It is laughing and talking out loud. It is people looking happy. I pledge to maintain high standards daily to make Daniel & Denise the epitome of this popular culinary heritage that is both comforting and heartening–and that I love so much."

Joseph Viola

Gastronomy gone “à la canaille”

Can a bouchon serve gastronomic cuisine? It can! The chef and his teams rise to the challenge every day, cooking traditional dishes fused into the French culinary repertoire, while striving for unparalleled lightness and precision. The sound of sizzling oil, the fragrant aromas of stews slowly cooking in huge pans …This is how it goes in Viola’s kitchen, with much slicing, stewing, and simmering involved. Product is king here!

Joseph Viola aims for excellence, working with local producers so that he can cook straightforward, sincere cuisine that is both generous and savoury. In 2004, he was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Chef of the Year) title and set out to modernize and transcend this cuisine.

In 2009, Viola won the “Best Meat Pie in the World” award with his duck foie gras and calf sweetbread “pâté en croute.” He was the first chef to offer that dish in his restaurant, after it had long disappeared from most local menus. It took him months to elaborate his recipe, which uses 12 high-quality ingredients.