Prix Lucien Vanel award winners 2018-2019

The Best Restaurants in Toulouse: Prix Lucien Vanel 2018-2019

Last week, the Prix Lucien Vanel awards honored the best restaurants in Toulouse at their biennial awards ceremony. Covering categories such as Best Cocktail Bar, “Matin Gourmande” (best breakfast in a hotel restaurant), and the coveted “Grand Table” (the award for best fine dining restaurant), the prizes award the incredible talent, professionalism, and dedication shown by the restaurant community here in Toulouse.

Lucien Vanel (credit: Académie Lucien Vanel)

What is the Prix Lucien Vanel?

Lucien Vanel (1928-2010) was an emblematic fixture of the Toulouse restaurant scene: he was the first chef in Toulouse to win two Michelin stars. The Prix Lucien Vanel was created in 2008 to honor his contributions to Toulouse gastronomy and to promote the restaurants of Toulouse. The awards are given out based on a combination of public voting and voting by the Académie Lucien Vanel, the non-profit and volunteer-led group that manages the awards and boasts over 100 members from various backgrounds (all passionate about wine and gastronomy).

I became a member of the Académie Lucien Vanel in early 2019, just in time to assume duties for this year’s awards. Each member was tasked with visiting at least 6 nominated restaurants from a list of finalists compiled from the top vote-getters in each category after public voting in late 2018. Voting is based on a rubric of components such as “quality of the products,” “service,” “setting and ambiance,” and “ratio price/quality.” This is the first year that restaurants from all over the département of Haute Garonne were eligible to participate – not just those within the Toulouse metropole.

The awards, which were last given in 2016 then put on hold for several years in order to reorganize, are now on a biennial schedule with the next round of nominations and voting slated for 2020-2021. This means you have two years to try this list of wonderful restaurants before a new crop of victors are awarded! Save the Google map at the bottom of this post for a handy list you can look at on the go.

2018-2019 Prix Lucien Vanel Award Winners

Catégorie GRANDE TABLE (Best fine dining restaurant)

Simon Carlier – Solides 
38 rue des Polinaires, Toulouse
Note: Starting June 3, Solides will be closing for a makeover, but you can find them cooking this summer at The Bistrot Garonne.

Nominés | Runners-up:

Jean-Baptiste Rivière – L’Équilibre
Place de la Libération, Balma

Ugo Plazzotta – Au Pois Gourmand 
3 rue Emile Heybrard, Toulouse

Catégorie TABLE GOURMANDE (Best regional cooking with local ingredients)

Simon Fétis et Iris Rutter – Les Têtes d’Ail
6 rue de la Fonderie, Toulouse

Nominés | Runners-up:

Éric Puel –  La Bonne Auberge
2b rue de l’Autan Blanc, l’Union

Nicolas Bodart –  L’Instant T
Ibis Styles Cité Espace, 19 avenue Marcel Dassault, Toulouse

Catégorie TABLE DU MIDI (Best lunch menu under 20 €)

Morgane Helvadijan et Nicolas Soupault – Une Table à Deux
10 rue de la Pleau, Toulouse

Nominés | Runners-up:

André Audouy (dit Moustache) – Brasserie Moustache
350 avenue de Garossos, Beauzelle

Céline Rossi et Matthieu Donatin – Les Fortes Têtes
4 avenue Honoré Serres, Toulouse

Lunch at Une Table à Deux
Lunch at Une Table à Deux
Catégorie MAÎTRE RESTAURATEUR (Excellence in the restaurant profession)

Valérie Cohen et Sébastien Luccioni –  Le Saint Sauvage
20 rue des Salenques, Toulouse

Nominés | Runners-up:

Céline Rossi et Matthieu Donatin –  Les Fortes Têtes
4 avenue Honoré Serres, Toulouse

Bruno Barthe –  Les Sales Gosses
81 rue Riquet, Toulouse

Catégorie BARS À COCKTAILS (Best cocktail bar)

Nicolas Blanchard – l’Heure du Singe
59 rue Riquet, Toulouse

Nominés | Runners-up:

​Emmy Jeannin et Pierre-Antoine Quentin – Le Fat Cat
4 rue de Rémusat, Toulouse

​Bruno Clave – le Dauphin
3b boulevard de Strasbourg, Toulouse

​Catégorie MATINS GOURMANDS (Best breakfast at a hotel)

Alexandre Bachelier – Hôtel Palladia
271 avenue de Grande Bretagne, Toulouse

Nominés | Runners-up:

Dieter Acke – Radisson Hôtel Blu Toulouse Airport
2 rue Dieudonné Costes, Blagnac

Emmanuel Hilaire – Hôtel Albert 1er
8 rue Rivals, Toulouse

Catégorie VALORISATION DES VINS DU SUD-OUEST (Best wine list from SW France)

Hubert de Faletans – L’Esprit du Sud-Ouest
84 rue de Bordebasse, Blagnac

Nominés | Runners-up:

Véronique Thiébaut – La Bonne Auberge
2b rue de l’Autan Blanc, l’Union

Florent Cluzel – Hôtel Restaurant Castet 
44 avenue de la Gare, Martres-Tolosane

Prix FÉMININ DE L’INTERPROFESSION DES VINS DU SUD-OUEST (Prize for best female wine professional)

Ana Walczak
Sommelière – La Table des Merville, Castanet

Nominés | Runners-up:

Mathilde Muguet-Delsol
Au Comptoir des Vignes, Toulouse

Margot Duffort
Médaille d’Or aux Olympiades des Métiers 2018
Le Gindreau, Saint Médard

Prix DE L’ACCUEIL (Best welcome)

André Audouy (dit Moustache) – Brasserie Moustache
350 avenue de Garossos, Beauzelle

Nominés | Runners-up:

Jean-Baptiste Rivière – L’Équilibre
place de la Libération, Balma

Valérie Cohen – Le Saint Sauvage
20 rue des Salenques, Toulouse

André Audouy of Brasserie Moustache
André Audouy of Brasserie Moustache
Prix Spécial Hors Catégorie* (Special prize, no category)

Thomas Vonderscher – Le Cénacle
46 rue des Couteliers, Toulouse

*This award was given exceptionally because the Académie wanted to honor this chef, whose restaurant had initially been a finalist for this year’s awards until he received his first Michelin star during the course of the voting. Michelin-starred restaurants are excluded from consideration from the regular categories of the Prix Lucien Vanel.

Want to shop in the footsteps of the best chefs in Toulouse? The Marché Victor Hugo tour helps you learn what’s good and where to get it. Learn the secrets of local gourmet shopping with us!
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