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Château Cordeillan-Bages.

Restaurant and hotel in a vineyard. France,Pauillac

Jean-Luc Rocha

Château Cordeillan-Bages Pauillac 33250

My main influences were a need to share and a sense of discipline. I owe the first to my family, who set a high price on welcoming and hospitality, and then to all the chefs, both men and women, whom I have met over my professional life which started at the Hotel Management School in Luxeuil-les-Bains. They all passed on to me their love for good ingredients and the terroir, their work ethic, the need for something to look good as well as taste good… Starting with François Lachaux at Bas Rupts et Chalet Fleuri in Gérardmer, then Patrick Henriroux at La Pyramide in Vienne and finally Thierry Marx in my current Restaurant.
I owe the second to these very same chefs. That is what led me to win the title of Best Worker of France in 2007.
So I have received a great deal... and I have tried to give a great deal in return. As have Château de Cordeillan-Bages’ regular customers who have told me that they want to try out new experiences. The dishes I offer them are a blend of the classical and the modern, with different textures and flavours to create the surprises they are looking for. A game of questions and answers. I love it.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
My first gourmet meal, by M. Kuentz at Au Père Rota. A legendary restaurant in my native region. I tasted an outstanding crayfish gratin and chicken with vin jaune. I was 11 years old.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
A van delivery at Jacques Chibois, on that particular occasion an easel in sugar decoration. One hour on the road. Imagine the pressure. The van swinging from side to side, with a single objective: to deliver the item in one piece. And luckily it arrived intact, and was put out in the garden. A few minutes later, a customer took a step backwards and… fell right over onto the blessed easel.
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
To put all their heart into everything they do.

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