5 Chefs sit at the table!
Whether they are three-starred, ambassadors of traditional cuisine or revisited or prescribers of bistro cuisine, five of our chefs bring their experience to bear and provide us with tips and tricks to cook at home like a chef!
Christian the Squer
At the head of the V, the restaurant of the Georges V hotel, where he has just won a 3rd star.
Head pastry chef of Cape Horn at the Grand hôtel des thermes de Saint-Malo.
Chef du Bœuf on the roof, a mythical place to rediscover for its cuisine and decoration.
Voted best young chef 2016 of the Yam trophy for his cuisine at Le Bien-Aimé.
Awarded in 2015 by the Staub-Lebey Prize as Best Bistro of the Year for A. Noste.
Ask your butcher to mature a pretty piece of beef, give you bones and trimmings to make your homemade broths or look for a breeder in an area where he would not have his habits.
Originally from the Landes, Julien Duboué is delivered once a week directly from his native southwest. There is even a huge vegetable garden that provides 35% of the fruits and vegetables on his menu.
Of course, not everyone has a green thumb or the possibility of a vegetable garden, but everyone can, in town or in the countryside, arrange a few pots of fresh herbs on a corner of a balcony or hang their peppers to dry them. Take advantage of your trips to the provinces to buy local craftsmen’s products on the spot or to place an order on the net and then receive them at home, at very good prices, and in large quantities, even if it means freezing. With the butcher, Irwin Durand even evokes a relationship of complicity: “the good craftsman sometimes needs to be guided to respond to new trends”.
Terroir, picking, season, recipe to make: to be sure to buy at the right price, you have to be interested in all this!
Thus, for Christian Le Squer, it is “There is no need to choose a Sisteron lamb renowned for its expensive and tasty meat -when it is cooked pinkish – if you have thought of having it confided for 7 hours! “The same goes for seafood products, whose cheap species such as mackerel and sardines invite you to discover them, while sparing your wallet. Moreover, “If the fish has the same sparkling eye as a pretty woman, it deserves its place on the plate, whatever its title of nobility”.
For Nicolas Jolivet and Irwin Durand, followers of what “nature gives them”, following the seasons is a daily leitmotiv. Through its vegetarian menu, Irwin Durand makes its customers rediscover old vegetables. Jerusalem artichokes and other tomatoes with beef hearts, purple radishes or yellow zucchini finally take centre stage on our shelves, inviting us to be curious and bold.
Even if he trusts the Charolais breed, Nicolas Jolivet often relies on the simmenthal, an Irish breed that offers a very tender meat and very often an excellent price-quality ratio. Christian Le Squer proposes to take an interest in the terroirs to follow the evolution of the harvest: “the asparagus harvest follows the heat by moving from the Vaucluse to the Sologne at the end of the season”.
No artificial in the kitchen
As for artificial ingredients, everyone agrees to ban them and advocate a return to authenticity.
No more sweeteners, therefore, light cream and other synthetic asparthame for Pascal Pochon who swears for his pastries only by brown sugar, brown sugar, real Breton butter or raw cocoa. Better for your health, of course, and enough to end the meal on a sweet note. For his necessarily light desserts in a thermal restaurant, he revisits the classics by reducing fat and combining the airy taste of egg white made into snow while allowing himself a blend of cream softened with 0% cream cheese.
Optimize your time!
If they all have a brigade of little hands to peel, slice, chop, chop, you don’t. “Prepare large portionable quantities for various uses,” says Julien Duboué. A fumet or sauce base cooked with trimmings, bones or carcasses can be frozen perfectly and allows simple pasta or risottos to be sublimated. “In the kitchen, the time must be decreasing every day, per hour spent, we must be able to save 30 minutes in the preparation of the next meal. »
Weigh in advance in small containers to have everything on hand in the progress of your recipe, suggests Pascal Pochon. Do a retro-planning for the week every weekend, suggests Irwin Durand, noting the shopping and menus. And to enjoy your guests, avoid fast cooking or compensate with a side dish made in advance and just to be reheated.
Cooking secrets: simmered and low temperature
Nicolas Jolivet has adopted the stew for white meat, which does not prevent him from finishing with a minute cooking and a glaze with meat juice. And to do this, the chefs choose the cast iron casserole dish, because it allows an equal distribution of heat. For fast cooking, the plancha is also gaining ground in their countries.
Blanch the vegetables: immerse them for a few minutes in a pot of boiling water (it acts like a pre-cooking), then immerse them in a bath of ice-cold water, to keep them colourful and crisp. For cooking, prefer icing: pour the peeled and cut vegetables into the pan, add butter, salt and sugar, a little water at the height, cover with a sheet of baking paper the diameter of the pan, in contact with the vegetables and water and let it cook to simmer. For Christian Le Squer, this cooking is wonderful because it softens the flavour of the early vegetables, peas or turnips, and of course makes the vegetables shine (the syrup formed by this mixture of ice cream).
For courgettes, carrots, leeks and rutabagas, the chef uses steamed cooking. He recommends the salt crust for celeriac (2 h at 130 °C). “It’s as simple as it is spectacular when you have a snack at the table! “In pastry as well, Pascal Pochon prefers gentle baking in ovens that are not too hot, which avoids the brutality of thermal shocks (rarely more than 170°C).
Be curious, dare to combine flavours
Like Christian Le Squer, a vinaigrette enthusiast, marinate fresh mint in olive oil to accompany the peas. Add a hard-boiled egg yolk to the leek vinaigrette. Spice up the one that accompanies the celery with a roasted cocoa powder. Dare to use seaweed, which, infused in a broth or cream, provides a powerful emulsion with an iodized taste that enhances raves.
Irwin Durand blends the chestnut with candied lemons cut into very small cubes (the famous “brunoise”), he accompanies the entrecote with avocado purée, and awakens his béarnaise of pomegranate seeds and lemon juice, which suddenly is called “chimichurri sauce”.
In his artichoke purées, Julien Duboué gives pride of place to vegetables, finely chopping them to bring lamb’s lettuce. Pascal Pochon accompanies his fresh fruit desserts and homemade coulis, for their softness and aesthetics.
A little boldness!
Starting from the container to highlight the content or magnify a simple dish with a pretty presentation is no longer an exercise in style reserved for professionals. Julien Duboué had the idea of ordering Jean-Louis Coquet an inverted plate to present his vegetable carbonara. “At home, simple carbonara spaghetti can be festive if you present it boldly: a glass, tea cup or vase can be diverted and inspiring. »
The return of the white plate
The white plate keeps its followers because it stands out as a blank canvas. Pascal Pochon and Nicolas Jolivet consider it as an “irreplaceable and large diameter medium of expression to play with empty spaces as in a painting”. Thanks to the many cookie cutters and glassware sets available on the market, this aestheticism is now within everyone’s reach.