When Mike Murphy talks, all you can do is listen. He is one of those natural raconteurs, a man with such natural charisma he could make a reading of the phonebook hilarious. If you haven’t had the pleasure of diving face-first into L’Experience’s to-die-for French Onion soup, you may be familiar with Murphy for his off the wall and uproarious facebook videos. If sales of his French Onion Soup are anything to go by, he’s also a damn fine chef.
“This week (it is a Friday morning when we chat) we’ve gone through two batches of soup already”
Mike does some calculations…
“That’s about 14 gallons of the stuff. People love it. We go through 10 to 15 kilos of Manx cheddar every week, easy”
He’s not wrong: the people are all over it. The marriage of sweet, succulent onion, meaty beef stock and then the coup de grace – oozy, rich and molten Manx cheesy topping – has the punters coming back for more and more.
Mike is not one for false modesty. And why not? As he asserts, this dish has been on the menu for nigh on 40 years. It is, in short, a classic. It is also, as L’Experience rightly proclaim, ‘world famous’. He regales me with an inspired yarn about his time in America.
When he got talking to a local police officer. Early into the conversation, the topic of the Isle of Man was brought up, to which the copper informed Mike and his family he’d been to visit for the TT just a couple of years ago. Their chat continued and then the copper asked Mike if he was familiar with a a cosy French restaurant and their incredible soup. Mike informed him that yes, he was very familiar indeed…
With 60-70 bowls of cheesy French magnificence being sold every week, L’Experience are flying through the Manx cheddar, whether it be for the aforementioned signature dish or on another of their crowd pleasers – Lobster Thermidor.
This classic dish is, like L’Experience itself, a Manx institution. The Manx vintage and mature cheddars are core ingredients to celebrated meals… So, whilst the name and recipe is indebted to our gallic neighbours across the English channel, it is now, surely, a MANX SOUP, YESSIR. WE SHALL RIGHTLY CLAIM WHAT IS OURS!
Here’s to L’Experience and to cheese…bringing us Manxies to cheddar…