‘I have lived two lives, in two different countries. I grew up in France, in Lyon, surrounded by vineyards, markets and my parents’ bistro. In an environment like that it's hard to resist. My mother infected me with her enthusiasm: I was determined to be a chef! Then I followed a traditional career path, training in a number of major restaurants and learning what there was to learn. At Michel Rostang’s, in Paris, I discovered a major international capital, and what that means in terms of customer expectations; at Alain Passard’s L’Arpège, I learnt total respect for the seasons and for ingredients... I went to England for a year to learn the language. The year was 1998. I'm still living there today. It gave me the opportunity to make my childhood dreams come true: to become a chef in my own restaurant, first in Ludlow and then in London. Taking sole responsibility for what you do is a bold move and also quite theatrical, but it does allow you to provide a confident, balanced and sophisticated cuisine. On the one hand, you have a wealth of rare ingredients and ultra-modern techniques. On the other, a classical grounding. England on the one hand and France on the other.’
Respect for the seasons is essential to my cuisine. I keep repeating this because it really is crucial. The vegetables are fabulous in the spring, especially asparagus.
Asparagus is a nice, crisp vegetable, full of flavor and full of life. It fits in perfectly with my style of cuisine, infused with feeling and devotion.
I like to cook it à la plancha and serve it just slightly warm as a starter, with a sprinkle of smoked oil and garnished with orange confit and a black truffle purée.