We were born on 13 September 1964 at Agde, in the Hérault region of France. Our father and grandfather were both wine growers, and we grew up on the shores of the Mediterranean. Our mother taught us all about regional cooking: fish soup, stuffed squid, cuttlefish with red pepper and garlic sauce, salt cod and garlic cooked in milk, and another fish soup, bourride, made with tomatoes, garlic, onions and monkfish. Bras, Meneau, Gagnaire, Chapel and Trama were our masters and they started us on a journey that opened the doors of creative cuisine to us. We are passionate about what we do. In 1988, we opened Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier with our friend Olivier Château and in 1998 it was awarded its third Michelin star in recognition of its elegant, creative Mediterranean cooking. We are inspired by the south of France, and our cuisine draws on both the land and the sea, playing with contrasts: hot and cold, smooth and crunchy, sweet and savoury, sweet and sour. In 2000 we branched out onto the international stage. We now have restaurants in Bangkok, Tokyo, Geneva, Marrakech, Casablanca and Paris, but we are also making our mark in Singapore (at Raffle’s) and in Shanghai, with the first Relais Gourmand in China (Sens & Bund). We have also been developing ethnic cooking with the brasserie concept of “La Compagnie des Comptoirs” in Montpellier, Béziers and Paris. We still have our bistro-style fish restaurants in Sète and Marseillan, as well as a restaurant on the beach in Villeneuve-les-Maguelone. Our desire for entrepreneurship and innovation extends far beyond the restaurants themselves. Cookbooks, “fast food” based on the idea of chic snacks, a cookery school, lounge bars and so much more: that’s our world now. We don’t claim to be part of a particular school: we simply like to explore new things and share our passion. We are actively involved in a large number of charitable causes, which we support throughout the year. Protecting the environment is something we take extremely seriously, above all the importance of looking after the planet so that we hand it down to future generations clean and with a calmer future. What’s our cooking about? Celebrating the flavours of the Mediterranean in its broadest sense with passion and enthusiasm. We are excited by all the countries around the Mediterranean coast – Spain, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Morocco – and all our cooking is based on one guiding principle: olive oil, tomatoes and spices. “Simplicity” and “product quality” are at the very heart of what we look for, and we rely on good producers, small farmers and exceptional fishermen and livestock farmers who offer us truly excellent ingredients.
It’s a vital part of our Mediterranean cuisine, used at every step in the preparation of our recipes. For finishing, we prefer oil from Lucques olives, a variety that provides a fine, piquant touch – the signature of our dishes. We like it golden, glistening, light and full of flavors. We add it generously to a pure, authentic potato purée and cannot imagine our chichoumeille (a slow-cooked, garlicky ratatouille) without this pure nectar of sun-drenched fruits.
Our great-grandfather tended olive groves in the Languedoc region, and today olive oil is one of our most essential products. We choose small local producers in order to create a selection of olive oils with the qualities that we prize: light, flavorful, fruity and aromatic. Our main supplier is Domaine de l’Oulivie, a producer in Combaillaux that uses traditional methods to get the best from their olive trees.