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Restaurant Alexandre.

Restaurant eines Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux auf dem Land. France,Garons

Michel Kayser

Chef
Restaurant Alexandre Garons 30128

I was born in Bitche in the Moselle. My parents, tradespeople, drummed the work ethic into me and my grandmother inspired in me the joy of cuisine, associated with special occasions.

When I was13 and a half, I became an apprentice in Forbach. The very strict environment that I discovered there was to my liking, and I learnt the rudiments of classic cuisine. On the bedside table lay my Bible… a red-coloured one... the Michelin guide. My ambition was to perfect my knowledge in a starred restaurant, at “Le Bourgogne” in Evian.

In May1974 in Palavas-les-Flots as part of Paul Alexandre’s brigade, I took my apprenticeship one step further. I adore the South, the sun, the girls in swimsuits on the beach, and I enjoy its lifestyle even though, in the eyes of the rest of the team, I shall always be “the lad from the East!”.

In 1976, at the age of 21, I returned to work with Paul ALEXANDRE as pastry chef. Then, at the end of the year, I went to work with BOUVAREL, in St Hilaire du Rosier, as pastry and pantry chef. I met a girl from Vercors, Monique.

I bought up the restaurant of Pierre Alexandre, Paul’s twin brother, across from Nîmes airport. There, my local ingredients are enhanced, integrated into recipes without ever losing their natural qualities. Mine is a modern cuisine, built on technique and skill, a cuisine of the south, one with roots, and without any superfluous flourishes.


What was your most moving culinary experience?
Meeting Christian Etienne at a trade show. We had wanted to have lunch at the Plaza but the restaurant was full. We bumped into Alain Ducasse and told him our problem. He picked up his phone, called the restaurant, and reserved his personal table. There we were at the Plaza to experience a lunch created with unparalleled precision and technical skill.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
The creation of an île flottante with truffles! It was at the beginning of the sitting and the orders were taking their time to come in. I was preparing my mousseline, putting the chicken breast in the mixer and gradually adding the cream. My wife came in to tell me the first orders and things were looking tricky. I let my mixture continue to turn over, added some cold cream and put some ice cubes into the beater. I made some quenelles which I wrapped in cling film and steamed. The result was astounding, the quenelles were creamy and firm at the same time. I floated them on a velouté of ceps.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Cook with sensitivity and all your heart and treat your ingredients with respect.