Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Cyril Leclerc is Head Chef at one Michelin star Le Chateaux d'Adoménil, where he demonstrates his culinary philosophy, with respect for the ingredients, lightness and a touch of the adventurous at its helm.
Having started his culinary career doing an apprenticeship as a pastry chef in Lunéville, Chef Leclerc was taught rigour and respect for quality ingredients early on. In 1994, he joined Maison Lalonde in Nancy as a confectioner and chocolatier and two years later joined the brigade at the Château d’Adoménil as pastry chef (and also where his new wife and her parents lived). It was then, working alongside his father-in-law and sister-in-law, that he really discovered the world of cuisine.
Being increasingly attracted by cooking, he tried to adapt a number of techniques from pastry cooking to savoury dishes, with his father-in-law's advice. And in 1998, he changed direction and started working as a commis chef. Full of enthusiasm, he explored each different post knowing he had a lot to learn, and quietly working my way up. In 2003 he became Chef, under the watchful eye of his father-in-law.
Having taken over two years ago, Cyril's restaurant was crowned with a Michelin star.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
In May 1998, a stunning dinner at the Arnsbourg in Baerenthal. We were bewitched by the Klein magic. I discovered a whole new gourmet world to be explored.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
Just like every Sunday, we were awaiting two regular customers. Knowing what they liked, we had prepared a traditional Bresse chicken and taken it out of the oven to rest. We hadn’t counted on the fine sense of smell of their dog “Gourmet” (you couldn’t invent it!) who took advantage of the lunch break to slip into the kitchen and pilfer the chicken. Rather more generous than his masters, he went to offer them the bones while they were taken a walk in the park to work up an appetite under the abashed eyes of the team, who by then had returned to their posts!
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Prepare a simple cuisine with fine ingredients and enjoy the food with friends.
- 1 Michelin star
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