Meet Mike Crowson – the ‘Barge Chef’

Mike Crowson is currently midway through his season as the chef serving up delicious meals for the lucky passengers aboard hotel barge Finesse. Born and bred in Cornwall, Mike is a stellar chef who takes a great deal of satisfaction from both barging and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

For fantastic foodie shots Mike’s website is well worth visiting. There you will find a great selection of recipes that he’s created which will really tickle your tastebuds.

One of the influences that has helped him develop as a chef was the BBC TV series ‘French Odyssey’ starring UK celebrity chef Rick Stein which was filmed on our hotel barges Rosa and Anjodi on the Canal du Midi.
Here are some of the typical dinner menus he served on board this year:



Quail breast & confit leg, pearl barley, baby carrot, silverskin onion.
Breast of duck, confit leg bonbon, Jerusalem artichokes roasted, crisps & purée, fondant potato, port sauce
Bleu d’causses, Brebiss fermier, Figou.
Chocolate tart, chocolate, hazlenut & almond praline, mandarin sorbet.


Ceps, black trompettes, girolles, crispy Bayonne ham, pumpkin seeds, truffle.
Sous vide venison loin, braised red cabbage, pomme purée, blackberry sauce
Templais cadet, ossau Iraty,
Fig tarte tatin, Brown butter ice cream.


French onion soup, emmental crouton.
Monkfish, cod, mussels, clams, fennel, leek, champagne butter sauce.
Roquefort, chèvre du Mas, Eschournac Trappe
Frozen cassis mousse, chocolate financier, bitter chocolate sorbet, chocolate soil, raspberries.


Seared scallops, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds & oil, pea shoots.
Lamb fillet, potato & olive croquette, aubergine,oven dried tomato, courgette, herb de Provence sauce.
Bleu de chèvre, chèvre chaud, templais Fleurie.
Prune & Armangac soufflé.


Seared foie gras, fig & port
“”Salers” fillet of beef. celeriac purée, potato pave. Spinach sauce bordelaise.
Roquefort papillon noir, Brebis fermier, buchette du chèvre
Lemon tart creme, red berry sorbet

Although Mike has to create his culinary masterpieces in a small but well-equipped galley, the beautiful Impressioniste has a spacious saloon and sun-deck, perfect for admiring the landscapes of Southern Burgundy, a region famous for its vineyards and historic towns and villages, as she glides serenely along.

And for the serious wine-lovers amongst you, L’Impressioniste offers a Wine Appreciation Cruise itinerary which includes a tour and private tasting of Bouchard Père et Fils, and a tasting of some of the world’s most renowned white wines in the village of Puligny-Montrachet.

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