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Maison Pic.

Restaurant and hotel in town. France,Valence

Anne-Sophie Pic

Maison Pic Valence 26000

I started off by studying international management so that I could travel and develop as a person, and rebelled against what might have seemed to be my natural destiny. But I’d spent my entire childhood with cooking. After proving myself in other domains, more specifically in the luxury and craft trades, in 1992 I decided to come back to the kitchen and train.

My father had always hoped that one day I would take over the business. I was aware that to succeed my grandfather and my father, two pillars of French gastronomy, wasn’t going to be an easy task.

In 1998, my husband and I took over the management of Pic on my brother’s departure. In 2001, Pudlo France elected me chef of the year. This was the first time I had been recognised by a food guide and was a high point in my career. In 2007, came the finishing touch with three Michelin stars.

My cuisine, I would say, is simple and sophisticated. I attach supreme importance to getting the flavours just right.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
Michel Bras’ fine tart with cep mushrooms which I tasted some years ago.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
My father is crazy about rugby and he passed this on to me. During the last world cup I enthusiastically followed the birth of ‘Chabal-mania’, brimming with pride for this man from Valence who had attracted great attention all over the world. As a kind of tribute, I had a kitchen overall embroidered with his name and our logo and waited for him to visit so I could present him with it. One day, on the occasion of an unexpected visit, my husband discreetly accompanied him into the kitchen. I hadn’t seen him come in. I was wondering who that waiter was who had a very imposing physique! It was only when I looked up that I recognised Sébastien Chabal: to my great surprise, our national champion was gearing up to go out into the dining room with a tray...

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Get up early on Saturday morning to go to the market and get up early on Sunday morning to be ready on time.

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