Mikael le Clezio, the personal chef of the Rothschild family at Château Mouton Rothschild, speaks to James Suckling about wine and food
Could you tell us more about mouton’s style of cuisine? It is cuisine bourgeoise, as it’s called in French, with simple decoration but quality products from France. We also provide service a la Française, which means our guests serve themselves directly from the waiters’ plates.
What is your vision for the château’s style of cuisine? Bourgeoise cuisine is a little revisited nowadays and we use less butter and sugar than before. We also try other sorts of meat or fish and adapt recipes such as pigeon in puff pastry.
How does the château’s wine inspire you? I hardly ever use wine-based sauces, because my goal is to let the wines fully express themselves. A sommelier works with me for the food and wine pairings and we taste and discuss together each dish I design. This is a very important process that gives us new inspiration.
What is the perfect pairing for a great bottle of Mouton Rothschild? To me, a leg of lamb with vegetables from the garden and candied garlic is the perfect match for Mouton Rothschild 1982.
What is your favourite vintage? I have been lucky enough to taste Château Mouton Rothschild 1947 at some exclusive dinners and it’s probably the most amazing wine I’ve ever had. I was very impressed by the richness and complexity of the nose and the very long finish.