Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Interview with Gilles Tournadre

Gilles Tournadre Restaurant Gill, Rouen

Restaurant Gill is one of my favourite restaurants for a celebration. This 2 michelin star restaurant in Rouen is all about fresh seasonal produce at the hands of master chef Gilles Tournadre. See below for an interview with Gilles.

Gilles Tournadre Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux

restaurant Gill
8-9, Quai de la Bourse
76000 Rouen

I was predestined to become an executive chef. The son and grandson of a pastry cook, I was already used to the strict requirements of patisserie. Ordinary cooking was almost easier...
When I was little I was already an enthusiast. Not for anything in the world would I have missed the cult cooking broadcast of the day: with Raymond Oliver and Catherine Langeais. A daily feast!

When I was 16 I went to the Couronne in Rouen, the property on the Place du Vieux Marché. I served a three-year apprenticeship there, learning the hard way. After that I embarked on a tour of France to complete my training, finishing up with a job as chef at the Château d’Audrieu in Calvados. In 1984, I returned home to my native town. I opened a little restaurant on rue de Saint Nicolas, right next to the cathedral. My wife Sylvie and I together decided to enlarge our business by moving to the banks of the river. There overlooking the Seine we and our loyal team give of our very best.

I can sum up my cuisine in two concepts: freshness and respect for produce.

What was your most moving culinary experience?
In the Eighties, a dinner at the Négresco in Nice, when Jacques Maximin was chef there. That’s where I ate my first salmon grilled on just one side with olive oil.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
In the Seventies, I was a commis chef in the kitchens of L’Auberge des Templiers in Les Bézards. Deep in conversation with Mme Dépée, I suddenly had to drop my trousers in front of her because two wasps were busy stinging me.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Shop at your local market, choose your ingredients carefully and cook them as simply as possible.

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