Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, Jean Coussau concocts gourmet recipes originating from the Landes region at his restaurant Relais de la Poste. The restaurant is located in a 19th century mansion that combines all that is great about the southwest of France and the Landes, the country of wide open spaces. With its wealth of exceptional products, like wild Adour salmon, hot duck foie gras with grapes or sand asparagus, Chef Coussau has created his two Michelin star fine-dining.
In 1850, his great grandparents took over a grocer’s and inn on the route to Santiago de Compostela, which his parents transformed into a hotel restaurant with a reputation as a place to stay and to dine. From a very early age he was surrounded by hospitality and it was only natural for him to move to Hotel Management School in Toulouse. After about ten years travelling between restaurants across France and Europe, Chef Coussau, his wife and his brother Jacques took over what was to become Relais & Châteaux - Relais de la Poste.
His passion for his native region of the Landes, its traditions, its culture, its lakes and its forests, influence his cuisine which is one of diversity.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
I was 11 years old when I first tasted, at home with the family, an ortolan. The fragrance which enveloped the kitchen, the “music” of it cooking in the pan, the ceremony surrounding it, the solemnity of it being served, all created a magic moment.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
I had sent a young commis chef to the greenhouse to pick some flat parsley. I can still see my mother’s face when she saw him return with a large handful of geranium shoots which had been overwintering in the space next to the parsley.
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Cook very simply with produce that is exceedingly fresh.
- Two Michelin Stars
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