‘Seasonal ingredients are at the heart of my cuisine and also of my career to date. My father was a country butcher with a vegetable allotment at home so I quickly learnt about ingredients. And cooking too. I owe my first experience, at the age of 15, to a chef who loved market dishes and who insisted on having a blackboard with dishes of the day. Some years later, in 1998, I was to discover another facet of these seasonal ingredients: how they can be used to enhance a dish, as the basis for a gourmet cuisine based on flavour, such as the one we offer at Le Pont de Brent. Head over heels in love. With a restaurant belonging to Gérard Rabaey on the slopes of Montreux, and with my future wife, who was sommelier there at the time. Two very good reasons to stay put and, in 2011, to decide to take over this lovely village restaurant. The discussions I have every day with guests and suppliers help me create a cuisine based on innovation, one that never stands still, one that is helped along by the use of fine local seasonal produce.’
We often cook it at low temperature or serve it as a tartare or ceviche, or sometimes marinated like gravlax. Its very delicate flavor needs to be heightened with a little touch of tartness, like lemon or horseradish, or possibly tomato, mustard leaf, etc., but taking care not to “smother” it. One of my dishes is a vinaigrette of Lake Geneva fera with horseradish, radish and rye bread crumble.
From January 15 through October 15 (the official fishing season on Lake Geneva), we always have fera on our menu in one form or another: as a main dish, an appetizer, etc. Our supplier is a fisherman named Serge Guidoux, based in Ouchy, near Lausanne. I go to see him two or three times a week. Fera is one of the lake’s finest fish, but it has to be prepared when it’s very fresh. Its flesh is delicate and must not be overcooked.