Among the Roman monuments of Vienne, south of Lyon, is the stone pyramid which once marked the centre of the arena where chariot races were held. Two thousand years later it gave its name to France’s most famous provincial restaurant, Fernand Point’s La Pyramide, just along the boulevard which has been renamed in his memory. The old pyramid (in the picture, its tip is below the restaurant building) must have appealed to Point: it appeared on his menu and there were pyramidal pastries and butter moulds. He even referred to himself as a pyramid: ‘My weight is confidential. But if you wish to obtain my volume, you have only to multiply the surface of my base by my height and divide by three.’ Since Point’s death, his wife, MarieLouise, and the staff of La Pyramide have maintained the standards of cuisine which made Point the most influential chef of the century.