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Bras - Sébastien et Michel.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and hotel in the country. France,Laguiole

Sébastien Bras

Chef
Bras - Sébastien et Michel Laguiole 12210

Michel: I am the son of a blacksmith and was introduced to cuisine when I was a tiny boy by my mother who did the cooking in her inn in Laguiole. Even today I can still remember the slices of bread and butter with milk skin and powdered chocolate that were waiting for me when I got home from school, the hot fouace loaves handed out after Armistice Day mass, the squares of dark chocolate cut into four, the soup into which my mother dipped crusts of bread – these are memories of the events that marked my childhood.

And I spontaneously felt the need to translate these childhood emotions into my cuisine. While I draw inspiration from my childhood and from my native land, I am also a child of my times. I am self taught and I acquired my culinary techniques through a scientific approach. This perspective on nature lets me cast a fresh eye on the countryside around me, an area I have observed and contemplated with increasing interest over the years.

Sébastien: At the age when you’re making your own Laguiole knives out of hazelnut twigs, I was already dreaming of cooking. I inherited that particular trait from my father. Like him, I want my cuisine to pay tribute to L’Aubrac, a part of the country I could not dream of living without. Our cuisine is driven by inspiration and, when we’re creating something, excitement is more important than technique.

When I was tiny my father would take me to the market at Rodez. That’s how he taught me about produce and created in me a love for it. I learnt from him how to respect its identity, to really look at it, touch it and smell it, to immerse myself in it to be able to understand it.

Our recipes are a reflection of the experiences we have had. I share with my father that taste for those ‘little nothings’ which bring to mind childhood innocence; nibbling a clover flower, delighting in some bread and butter with milk skin, eating with your fingers, taking risks, forgetting everything you’ve ever learnt!


What was your most moving culinary experience?
Michel: The two amazing slices of Laguiole fouace which were handed out to us after celebrating the Armistice of the two world wars at the war monument.

Sébastien: A loaf of bread baked in the sand in the Tegela desert. I’ll never forget the moment we all shared it and the emotions it unleashed.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
MichelA customer asked for a piece of meat done ‘very rare’, and left me with nothing to do...

Sébastien: A cheese Aligot that I was making for Pierre Gagnaire and his team at the end of a training period with him that wouldn’t melt! It was a disaster!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
MichelGet the whole family involved!

Sébastien: Take risks!!! Trust in your own good sense and your intuition!


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