“Sublimating the regional products, integrating them into recipes where no one expected them, without ever altering them completely”
Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Michel Kayser's cuisine obides to the products produced in the region in which his Restaurant Alexandre lies in, paying homage and supporting Southern France's abundance of varied fresh and local ingredients.
Inspired by his grandmother's cuisine and at the tender age of 13, Chef Kayser became an apprentice in Forbach where he learnt the rudiments of classic cuisine and the discipline involved in his future career. Working in some of the best kitchens in the world, Michel furthered his experience in Palavas-les-Flots as part of Paul Alexandre’s brigade, and ended up becoming the pastry chef. He then went to work with Bouvarel in St Hilaire du Rosier, as pastry and pantry chef.
He eventually bought the restaurant of Pierre Alexandre, Paul’s twin brother, across from Nîmes airport. Since, he has been awarded 2 Michelin stars amongst other accolades.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
Meeting Christian Etienne at a trade show. We had wanted to have lunch at the Plaza but the restaurant was full. We bumped into Alain Ducasse and told him our problem. He picked up his phone, called the restaurant, and reserved his personal table. There we were at the Plaza to experience a lunch created with unparalleled precision and technical skill.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
The creation of an île flottante with truffles! It was at the beginning of the sitting and the orders were taking their time to come in. I was preparing my mousseline, putting the chicken breast in the mixer and gradually adding the cream. My wife came in to tell me the first orders and things were looking tricky. I let my mixture continue to turn over, added some cold cream and put some ice cubes into the beater. I made some quenelles which I wrapped in cling film and steamed. The result was astounding, the quenelles were creamy and firm at the same time. I floated them on a velouté of ceps.
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Cook with sensitivity and all your heart and treat your ingredients with respect.
- 2 Michelin stars
- 4 toques | Gault & Millau
- Légion d’Honneur, 2012
- Chef de file, 2013 | Languedoc Roussillon
2, rue Xavier Tronc
30128 Garons (Gard)
+ 33 (0) 4 66 70 08 99