With summer, nothing could be nicer than a picnic with family or friends. How about preparing a picnic made from entirely Auvergne products? This is what we asked chef Julien Arnaud. On the menu: cantal, Auvergne ham, Velay strawberries … Bon appétit.

During the summer vacation, you might organize a country picnic with your family or friends. It is one of the little pleasures of the season. If you’re stuck for menu ideas for this on-the-go meal, don’t panic. Julien Arnaud is the chef of BHV, a bistronomic restaurant in Riom, in Puy-de-Dôme. In his kitchen, products from short circuits are favored, in order to bring a touch of authenticity. It gives you some ideas for preparing a 100% Auvergne picnic.

A Piedmontese salad revisited

To begin with, the chef from Riom offers a Piedmontese salad in his own way. For the ingredients, he recommends potatoes, radishes, spring onions, eggs, tomatoes, a cucumber, grilled rapeseed oil, cervelas and cantal in between. He chooses his eggs and certain vegetables from Léa, a young farmer living in Vitrac in Puy-de-Dôme. Other vegetables come from a producer of Entraigues, Stéphane Gavioli. The cervelas and the cheese were bought from artisans in the greater Riom area.

Julien Arnaud explains his recipe: “ We start by cooking the potatoes, Agatha variety. They are bleached in water. I always put in a little garlic and overcook them a bit. I cook them for an hour, over low heat. As soon as the water boils, I turn down the gas. They have a slightly candied texture. Then we cook the hard-boiled eggs. I like it when they are still a bit runny. They are cooked 7 minutes after boiling. We cut the vegetables. We prepare a mayonnaise, which we relax with water, or cream if we are very greedy. We mix it all up. Season and add a little bit of grilled rapeseed oil to spice things up a bit. “. The tasting looks promising.

Julien Arnaud, chef at Riom, gives you his recipe for Piedmontese salad in his own way.

Julien Arnaud, chef at Riom, gives you his recipe for Piedmontese salad in his own way.

© Catherine Lopes / FTV

A club sandwich in Auvergne

For the rest, nothing like a sandwich on the picnic menu. Forget the traditional ham and butter, the chef has another idea in mind: an Auvergne club sandwich. Julien Arnaud underlines: “ We choose a country bread molded like a sandwich bread. It is toasted with a little olive oil, a la plancha or in a pan. We prepare a sucrine salad from Léa. It is mixed with mayonnaise. We prepare ham from Auvergne cut very finely, like lace, so that it can be chewed. We add Saint-Nectaire. We assemble everything, with two layers of sucrine, ham and cheese. We superimpose everything and all you have to do is taste “.

In order to fully enjoy this dish, the chef recommends sticking out wooden picks and cutting the club sandwich into several pieces.

This recipe for the Auvergne club sandwich will make your mouth water.

This recipe for the Auvergne club sandwich will make your mouth water.

© Catherine Lopes / FTV

Strawberries from Velay

On the dessert side, Julien Arnaud wanted to avoid wasting too much time in the kitchen: he thought of a strawberry salad. He indicates : ” For the strawberry salad, I chose strawberries from the Monts du Velay. They are just sweet. You can add small pieces of hazelnut cookie. It’s very simple “.

Chef Julien Arnaud advises you to prepare a Velay strawberry salad.

Chef Julien Arnaud advises you to prepare a Velay strawberry salad.

© Catherine Lopes / FTV

Favor short circuits

With this meal, you will be able to impress your friends by concocting a menu 100% made in Auvergne. Julien Arnaud specifies: “ When you have a picnic, you not only have to make sure that it is tasty, but also that it is edible, fresh and transportable. There are some ingredients you should avoid, like things that are too liquid, to avoid stains. When we prepare the club sandwich, we add small wooden picks to keep it edible, it holds a little better “. The chef insists on the interest of being locavore: “ By favoring short circuits, you can easily prepare a picnic. And it’s just as good, while being eco-responsible. We add a bottle of Saint-Pourçain blanc Tressaille, from the Domaine des Bérioles. It is a very mineral, iodized wine, to be consumed in moderation. All that’s missing is a little ray of sunshine to enjoy it! “. A little ray of sunshine indeed, and voila. All you need to do is find the ideal spot to enjoy these Auvergne products with their inimitable flavor.