I come from the Sarthe. I spent my week-ends and holidays on the farm with my uncle and my grandmother who were farmers. I was lucky enough to be able to grow and sample food grown on their land and discover the scents of vegetables from the kitchen garden, the fragrance of fruit from the orchard and the flavour of farm-reared free-range chicken. That allowed me to train my palate on what are the foundations of cuisine. My first memories were of the dishes that my grandmother used to make, of the stew simmering on the wood-burning cooker, of a kitchen full of cooking smells and of our own farm-reared chicken boiled with garden vegetables. I also remember the fish that my father would cook when he spent his Sunday mornings in the kitchen to make dishes for us to taste. I was trained at L'Aubergade restaurant in Pontchartrain under Jean Bordier, at Le Drouant under Louis Grondard, at Le Pré Catelan under Frédéric Anton, at Lasserre and then at the Ritz under Michel Roth, at Le Scribe and then at Le Meurice under Yannick Alléno, with whom I won the Bocuse bronze medal at the Bocuse d’Or. I was exceptionally lucky to meet these great chefs: they all passed on to me their knowledge, philosophy, their passion and their vision of cuisine. My cuisine? Pleasure, generosity, gourmandise, childhood memories, a respect for your ingredients and seasonal produce, in short, a cuisine that is pared down and aims at the heart of the matter.
Langoustines cover a range of different sizes and cooking methods, offering a whole creative palette of truly interesting dishes. We serve it as a carpaccio, a tartare or roasted, and combine different degrees of cooking to obtain contrasting textures. Most recently, I offered a smoked blancmange topped with an herb-coated langoustine poached in seawater, garnished with a nasturtium leaf coulis and a little Sologne caviar to bring out the “ocean” flavor.
Nowadays we are able to get live langoustines. I work with a supplier in Reims who purchases them directly from fishermen in the ports of Le Guilvinec, Loctudy and Saint Guénolé. We have them on the menu all year long.