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May 29, 2017

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Lyon, the city of Paul Bocuse, draws gourmets from all corners of world

LYON, France -- The ultimate temptation to overcome vegans and calorie-counters must be Les Halles de Lyon, the covered markets of the French city of Lyon. The devil himself seems to have marshaled every object of gluttony to display in the glassed-over counters.

At a stall run by chocolate maker Seve, there are row upon row of dark shining sweets and "coussins de Lyon" — marzipan filled with chocolate.

At Maurice Trolliet, Lyon's best meat store, there are bresse chickens. At the stand of 85-year-old Madame Sibilia, every kind of sausage is on offer — rosettes, pistachio-filled dry-cured sausages and truffles.

Around the corner, a moody shaven-headed man is frying frogs' legs in a garlic-and-parsley sauce.

At Rolle, another shop, customers wait in line to purchase their foie gras tartes of cherries and grapes, or truffles selling at 990 euros per kilogram.

City tour guide Anneliese Dogas says Paul Bocuse, an elder statesman of French cuisine, orders cheese for his restaurants at nearby Mere Richard.

Bocuse's surname has been officially appended to that of the market, which is now officially named "Halles de Lyon — Paul Bocuse," in gratitude for the great chef's work: he has made his native city a destination for gourmets from around the world.

Nowhere in France are there more restaurants per capita than in Lyon. Fourteen of them received Michelin stars in 2013.

Bocuse's own L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, which lies slightly outside the city, has been a three-star restaurant since 1965.

Over the years the 88-year-old has opened up a number of brasseries and luxury snack bars.

At a cooking school, the Institut Paul Bocuse, located at Place Bellecour, amateur cooks can learn to create dishes like the master.

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