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“You’ll never be a chef!” These were the words, spoken by my father when I was 14, which dashed my childhood dreams. So I turned to a different kind of “cuisine”: that of a herbalist bringing together all kinds of plants which I still combine in my lab.I was also crazy about my father’s profession, he was an antique dealer, and I opened an antiques shop in an old barn in Phalsbourg. In 1975, cooking raised its devilish head again. I was inspired by the stone and timber of the old barn opposite the historic gates to the town and the castle, and transformed it into a restaurant which I named: “Au Soldat de l’An II”.I started with regional specialities with whole menus designed round pork. It was 1982, right in the middle of nouvelle cuisine: I took the plunge and discovered what was new. Another dream became reality in 2007 when I opened a charming hotel that became a Relais & Châteaux. My cuisine: give pleasure to people.
I offer a “Black Diamond” menu with dishes that vary according to the season. It might include a foie gras rolled in shavings of chopped truffles, a hot lobster in butter tinted with cuttlefish ink and truffle juice – a veritable explosion of flavors – and a brie cut open, lined with truffles and aged in our cellar. And for dessert I serve a truffle and champagne sorbet.
I work mainly with melanosporum truffles from Richerenches, a little village near Saint Paul Trois Châteaux in the Drôme region. I have become good friends with two truffle hunters who have been supplying me for nearly 30 years. For reasons of discretion, I prefer not to mention their names…