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