Your complete source for everything buzzing in YOUR area

A fresh approach to flavour

 Innovative creations and pure flavours represent the original style of Dutch Chef, Bas Holten, at the Château Les Merles.   Using seasonal products, which are mainly grown in the Château’s own vegetable garden, he strives for the perfect balance on and off the plate.

 Potato pancake with asparagus and quail eggs

 4 Potatoes

1 Small handful of flour

½ Onion

Salt and pepper

Sunflower oil

4 White Asparagus

20g Butter

8 Quail eggs


Finely grate the potatoes.  Squeeze the potatoes to remove excess water.  Grate the onion and mix together with the potatoes.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.  Add the flour to the mixture.  Form small pancakes from the mixture.  Cook the pancakes in a small pot with oil until light brown.

Peel the asparagus and cut the tough ends off.  Cook them for 2 minutes in water with butter and some salt.  Turn off the heat and leave the asparagus in the cooking liquid until cooked.

Bake the quail eggs in a frying pan with a knob of butter.  Note that you can’t open a quail egg the way you do a chicken egg.  A quail egg has a leathery shell and doesn’t crack easily.  Instead, push the tip of a sharp paring knife into the shell about one-third of the way down from the top, saw gently, and then pull the top of.

Place the potato pancake on a plate.  Cut the asparagus in 5 pieces and dress on the pancake.  Finally add 2 baked quail eggs per plate and season with pepper and salt.

The Les Merles restaurant is located in the courtyard of the 4-star Hotel Château les Merles and is surrounded by nature close to Bergerac.   Enjoy a candle lit courtyard dinner in the summer or a fireplace setting in winter.   Next to the restaurant, Les Merles offers a 4-star hotel and rental villas, a bistro and a 9-hole golf course.

First published in the May/June 2019 issue of The Local Buzz.  You can see Asparagus with Smoked Salmon and Beetroot Caviar, another fresh recipe from Bas, in the May/June issue of the magazine on this website.

Images courtesy of Les Merles