Follow the blackbird (merle in French) to the Place du Château, Jarnac’s main square!
With its stone façade and its bright red awning, the Restaurant du Château is a landmark of the town of Jarnac. For almost 10 years now, Ludovic Merle, (member of the “Jeune Restaurateur d’Europe” network www.jre.com) has been playing the kitchen’s pianos to the sound of creative, tasty and generous food in a relaxed and chic atmosphere. The Restaurant du Château is an ideal choice for work lunches, romantic dinners and family gatherings. The restaurant caters for groups of up to 150 people.
The chef’s career path, Ludovic Merle :
Ludovic Merle was born to a family of restaurant owners. He studied four years at the School of Catering and Hotel Management in La Rochelle before leaving France for New York in 1998. The next two years were spent working as a chef at the Four Seasons, Le Pierre hotel in Manhattan. Towards the end of 1999, Ludovic moved back to France to the capital city of French gastronomy, Lyon. For three years, he worked under the internationally renowned chef, Georges Blanc, at the Splendid restaurant in the heart of Lyon. In 2003, he headed down south to the Côte d’Azur where, together with Philippe Jourdin, he did the opening of the Four Seasons, Domaine des Terres Blanches in the town of Tourette. In December 2004, he seized the opportunity to buy the Restaurant du Château in his hometown of Jarnac and so at the age of 28, Ludovic became head chef and owner of his own restaurant. Today, the Restaurant du Château is listed in several guides – Gault Millau, Michelin and the Bottin Gourmand and Ludovic Merle is recognized as one of the very best chefs and caterers in the region. In 2012, Ludovic opened a boutique hotel with 10 rooms, the Ligaro Hotel, just 300 meters from his restaurant.