When you first meet Caroline ALIX, or Caro, in her charming restaurant ‘Caro&Co located under the stone arcades in the countryside village of Bazas, you see a charming and sociable chef. The warmth she puts into creating her colorful and seasonal plates is expressed with seasonal vegetables and local meats, sometimes with a hint of those South African roots. Maybe the most unique dish you can try is a beautiful bobotie (spiced mince gratin from South Africa) or maybe a chilled tumeric and carrot soup.
While studying in hotel and restaurant management in Cape Town at the university at Granger Bay, Caro was lucky enough to work for ‘Le Quartier Francais’ which is one of the top restaurants in the world and was considered the best restaurant in Africa and the Middle East in 2011. Her culinary career has taken her to Great Briton and Switzerland…and eventually France where she worked in multiple locations, improving her knowledge of French cuisine along the way until she ended up at Pinasse Cafe in the stunning Cap Ferret.
Like many chefs, Caro finds cooking satisfying when using the freshest ingredients and local products. Her favorite local product is the Bazadaise beef which the town of Bazas is famous for. It is an ancient breed, once used for work and now celebrated all over France. It is known for it’s perfectly marbled or ‘persillée‘ flesh, with a dark red color and rich flavor (read more here). She purchases her beef locally from Sebastien Degrèse, Didier Charrier, and La Grise de Bazas.
She enjoys the hard work behind the scenes that ultimately give the customer satisfaction as well. So much of what she does in the kitchen involves all the senses, smelling and tasting, always searching for the perfect visual presentation. When asked which chef is probably the most influential to her, Caro mentions Marco Pierre White, considered ‘the rebel of cooking’.
Caro is not alone in this venture, which is why the name Caro&Co came about – her partner for decades (and as Caro says, her ‘better-half’), Pascal ALIX, runs the front of the house. He has always been a great support and cheerleader in her career.
If you want to dine at Caro&Co, be sure to make a reservation in advance by calling +33 (0)5 56 65 24 58 / Closed Tuesday evening and Wednesday / 38 Place de la Cathedrale, 33430 Bazas / https://www.caroandco.fr/