PODCAST – Sabine Gosselin: “For pilgrims, Compostela is also a gastronomic route”



On this sunny evening at the end of October, there are a dozen pilgrims seated around a pumpkin soup, glasses of red wine and steaming gratins from the warm lodge del Roumiou. They arrived in the small village of Saint Côme d’Olt (Aveyron), on the road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Tried and tested by their day’s walk, getting ready to leave at dawn the next morning, the guests go into ecstasies in front of these tasty, homemade dishes.

“I have always cooked. When I was four or five, I was already making my first yogurt cakes, in my big family where we were eight brothers and sisters ”, says the manager, who has been running this emblematic old stone building with her Quebec companion Sylvain for eight years. “I liked hanging out in the kitchen, I liked the smells… It’s an atmosphere that motivated me”, entrusts the forty-something to the microphone of this sixth episode ofAround the table.

“A spiritual quest”

After a career in the navy, several ministries and a few years spent in Quebec, the energetic mother of two children returned to France. She herself decided to go in 2010, with Sylvain, on the paths of Saint-Jacques.. “It was a whim. A bit like a flight at first… But after three weeks of walking, I discovered a spiritual quest. We realized what our freedom was ”, continues the one who had grown up in the Catholic tradition before “To evolve differently”, and who then suddenly started to “Look for a word of encouragement” of “Small church in small church”.

In high season, Sabine and Sylvain host around twenty pilgrims every evening. A dense rhythm, motivated by their common desire “To welcome people”, which does not prevent them from simultaneously carrying out other ambitious projects. In 2018, worried “To have professional methods in the kitchen”, Sabine passed a CAP and completed her apprenticeship at the prestigious Bras café, in the heart of the Soulages museum in Rodez (Aveyron).

a “Foodtruck” on the paths

After the spring 2020 containment, the couple decided to convert an old caravan into a professional kitchen to make one “Food truck”, which should soon leave to scour the roads of Puy-en-Velay in Santiago, by offering boxed meals at affordable prices and made with local products.

For Sabine, the sense of hospitality that they have sought to develop in their lodging contributes to the personal and spiritual journey of the pilgrims of Saint-Jacques, with their often dented life paths. “Of course, they arrive at 3 pm in the afternoon, and leave at 8 am the next day … We have very ephemeral links with them, but nevertheless very deep”, she confides not without emotion, “We are part of their journey, of their quest”.

Among the other invited personalities: Thierry Marx, two-star chef and follower of Buddhism; Florence Kahn, owner of a Yiddish specialty shop; Djamel Bouhadda, chef of the halal gourmet restaurant Le Médaillon; Stéphane Esclef, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre and former cook in Parisian palaces; Jean-Luc Gadreau, Baptist pastor and pizza maker …

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Every Wednesday from September 29, 8 episodes of season 4 of “Place des religions”, to listen to on the newspaper’s website and app The cross and on all platforms.

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→ TO PLAY BACK. Place des religions, season 1: so be they

→ RE-LISTEN Place des religions, season 2: words from politicians

→ TO PLAY BACK. Place des religions, season 3: the choice of risk

Editor-in-chief: Jérôme Chapuis and Fabienne Lemahieu. Editorial manager: Clémence Maret. Journalist in the Religion Department: Malo Tresca. Production manager: Célestine Albert-Steward. Director: Flavien Edenne. Sound mixing: Gabriel Fadavi. Marketing manager: Laurence Szabason. Visual and graphic identity: Kimi Kimoki and Mathieu Ughetti. Musical creation: Arnaud Forest.

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