A chat with... Jean-de­nis Le Bras, La Grande Mai­son

Bordeaux J'Adore - - ◆ —— Touches Of Genius —— ◆ -

Chef Jean-de­nis Le Bras earned two Miche­lin stars for his imag­i­na­tive and ex­cel­lent cui­sine at La Grande Mai­son, a bou­tique ho­tel in a re­stored his­toric man­sion.

You’ve had a very suc­cess­ful ca­reer. What was your big­gest chal­lenge at La Grande Mai­son?

JD Le Bras: The chal­lenge for me was to get the Borde­lais to love this place. My goal is to make my restau­rant for ev­ery day.

Do you have any sig­na­ture dishes?

JD Le Bras: All of the dishes are sig­na­ture dishes. What I like to do, for ex­am­ple, is use all the parts of the veal and play with the tex­ture and taste. For shell­fish, we'll use many types of shell­fish. We might use the dif­fer­ent parts of a par­tic­u­lar fish. The goal is to have it match to­gether – the taste, the tex­ture, the pre­sen­ta­tion. Or we might, for ex­am­ple, use both white and green as­para­gus in the same dish.

What do you like about be­ing a chef in Bordeaux?

JD Le Bras: In Bordeaux, what is in­ter­est­ing is that the sup­pli­ers are small pro­duc­ers. They aren't big, in­dus­trial sup­pli­ers – some­times you don't al­ways know where the prod­uct is from. Here, the truf­fle guy takes the truf­fles straight from the earth in the Char­entes, and he brings me a big bag of truf­fles ev­ery two days. I know where they are from and I get to pick the size and shape. Here I can get my poul­try from the Mé­doc, the lamb from Pauil­lac, the or­ganic veg­eta­bles in the Lan­des, the lo­cal shell­fish is very in­ter­est­ing… We have an or­ganic veg­etable gar­den at Chateau Pape Cle­ment and I go to the Ca­pucins farm­ers mar­ket three times a week. Other small sup­pli­ers they bring it right to you in your kitchen.

Menus at 165€ to 205€; lunch menu at 65€ - 125€

PHOTO GEORGES GOBET AFP

Jean-de­nis Le Bras, be­tween Bernard Ma­grez and Pierre Gag­naire.

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