‘Roots in France and Spain and my grandmother were the essential ingredients. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family with her in it. She was an exceptional cook. For her preparing a meal was always a pleasure, never a chore. A pleasure made for sharing. When I was very young, I was introduced to all the best ingredients from the land and the sea, as my father was a farmer and wine grower and many of my uncles were fishermen. So I quickly latched on to what being a chef was all about and what the ingredients to success in this profession were. Whatever the restaurant, the ingredients are the stars while the artisans are the supporting cast. We, the chefs, simply negotiate between them. There is no greater or lesser cuisine, just good or bad ways of doing things. Quebec has made me feel wanted for some eleven years now. It has let me develop my signature cuisine, based on fine local ingredients. I try to be creative and modern, yet faithful to the traditions of French gastronomy. I prefer the blue of Québec to the blue of the Mediterranean.’
I prepare it different ways. Sometimes I make a version of my grandmother’s pork with white beans, cooked very slowly. I serve the meat pulled from the bone, with its crispy caramelized skin and a reduction of its juice, on a bed of crushed white beans. I garnish it with dried ham chips and a soup modeled after île flottante with Tarbais beans and blancmange.
I discovered this milk-fed piglet about ten years ago, when I was invited to a presentation. The product was just being introduced. I had to learn all the different ways it could be cut. The piglet, which feeds on enriched milk after a few weeks of suckling from the sow, is different from the ones in France. Its meat is very fine, with a wonderful flavor.