Seasonal ingredients are at the heart of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Stéphane Décotterd's cuisine and at his Restaurant Le Pont de Brent.
Chef Décotterd's father - a country butcher with a vegetable allotment at home - taught Stéphane the basics about ingredients and cooking. At the age of 15 Chef gained experience with a chef who loved market dishes and who insisted on having a blackboard with dishes of the day. Some years later, in 1998, Stéphane was to discover another facet of these seasonal ingredients: how they can be used to enhance a dish, as the basis for a gourmet cuisine based on flavour, such as the one on offer at Le Pont de Brent. He feel head over heels in love with a restaurant belonging to Gérard Rabaey on the slopes of Montreux, and with his future wife, who was sommelier there at the time. In 2011 Stéphane and his wife decided to take over this lovely village restaurant.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
Without a doubt a dinner at Can Fabes, Grand Chef Santi Santamaria’s restaurant, near Barcelona. His cuisine had extraordinary flavour, achieved by no grand flourishes or gadgets, and was totally down my street. No references to French gastronomy, but dishes clearly prepared according to their own codes of reference, ingredients and history. That discovery opened up for me a whole new way of seeing things.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
When I started at Restaurant Le Pont de Brent, the chef asked a commis chef to ‘strain’ some stock. The young man, a bit stressed and hearing ‘drain’, grabbed the saucepan from the stove and tipped all the liquid in the sink. It was the chef’s veal jus.
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Enjoy the cooking, but also make sure you have time to enjoy your guests’ company.
- 2 Michelin stars
- 18/20 | Gault & Millau
4, route de Blonay
CH-1817 Brent/Montreux (Vaud)
+ 41 (0)21 964 52 30