The last month has been a whirlwind – travelling from Paris to Lyon to Avignon, and finally landing in Grignan: my home for the next couple of months.
The flavours in the south of France are very inspiring: French meets mediterranean. Elements include pesto, olives, black olive tapenade, sardines, anchovies, confit tomatoes, confit lemons, fennel, aubergine, zucchini, cilantro, basil. Cured meats and cheese blooming beautiful with mold and affinage. Some highlights at the restaurant include grilled sardines, sauce vierge on whitefish, a yummy braised chicken couscous with cilantro, petit farcis, shrimp risotto and the classic aioli dish (boiled veg, mussels, shrimp, cabillaud, potatoes with delicious garlicky aioli to dip everything into!) So far we have worked with tuna, loup, cabillaud, mussels, and shrimp. For the first service without the chef I made bavette steak with sauce eschalotte, haricots verts with persillage, and mashed potatoes. Classic!
It’s a nice challenge so far: I am noticing a difference already in the salt content of dishes, as well as the sugar content of desserts. There seems to be a greater focus on celebrating ingredients, accenting with fresh elements and using more refined techniques. The Chef (Romain Chaillot) I am learning from worked at a Michelin starred restaurant before, so there is an even higher standard to reach for. SO much to learn!
“Always look ahead and above yourself. Always try to improve on yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft.” – Yoshikazu Ono from Jiro Dreams of Sushi