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I grew up in Barr, in the Alsace, in a large family, and my father was a very successful business person who always entertained customers in our home. We would have a menu for the week and lots of guests. This was the 1960’s when it was considered rude to take a customer to a restaurant. My father also loved to cook for the family and this had an influence on me. So at the age of 11, I made my first pre-apprenticeship. It was summer time. I learned about beautiful food: chopping five or six pounds of truffles, for example. It was a whole different world: the best, the best, the best. The best green beans, the best parsley, the best chives! I did this for two summers in a row. At my country house, I have orchards and a vineyard. It’s an inspiration to see all that fruit. I am surrounded by the environment I love. I also love fishing in the northern lakes.
I serve them as they are, with a few seasonal garnishes — perhaps a quince paste, a fig purée, grilled pine nuts with pine honey or cubes of Asian pears. And of course an Alsatian wine!
For 27 years I’ve been using only local products in my restaurants, working closely with the producers to ensure that I always have the best. All of the cheeses at Everest are artisanal products from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Iowa.