Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex is at the helm of Lyon-based restaurant, l'Auberge de L'Ile Barbe. Describing his cuisine he tries "to make it simple, subtle, sexy". His food is in real harmony with the deeply historical and beautiful auberge.

Aspiring to be a pastry chef, he was advised to train at the Hotel Management School of Thonon-les-Bains, where he discovered the whole restaurant world. He worked at Million in Albertville, at the Casino of Divonne-Les-Bains, with Pierre Orsi, Didier Clément and at the Onassis family home, gaining insight into the rigour and creativity needed as a chef and the importance of quality produce.

Taking over the family hostelry on Ile Barbe, Chef Ansanay-Alex has collected two Michelin stars since 2002.


Three Questions with Jean-Christophe

What was your most moving culinary experience? 

Lunch at Thomas Keller at 'The French Laundry': absolutely fabulous!


The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?

One of my pastry chef friends had swapped a gratin for a crème anglaise. The chef was so angry, when the customer had complained about it, that he tipped a bucket of water over his head!


Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs? 

Go to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, on Sunday morning and let yourself be tempted by what you find there. It is good to go with friends so you can exchange opinions and recipes.


  • 2 Michelin stars


Auberge de l'Île Barbe

Place Notre Dame

Ile Barbe, 69009 Lyon


+33 (0) 478 83 99 49