Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux, Eric Pras is Head Chef at acclaimedMaison Lemeloise in France. His culinary philosophy? “Mine is a constantly-evolving heritage cuisine, which respects its ingredients. It is sensitive, gourmet cuisine, adding a touch of fantasy to whatever tradition is in vogue.”
At 15, Eric completed his vocational diploma [CAP] at the Hôtel Central in Renaison and from 1989 onwards moved from one quality establishment to the next: Maison Troisgros in Roanne, Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu, then under Pierre Gagnaire in Saint-Etienne, Antoine Westermann in Strasbourg, Restaurant La Belle Otéro in Cannes – so many great figures and institutions in French gastronomy where he could forge his own personality
On March 1, 2008, at the age of 36, Eric Pras decided to leave Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid and Régis Marcon, where he had managed since 2005 as Chef de Cuisine, to come to Chagny and Jacques Lameloise – a wise choice which marks an important milestone for one of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France in 2004.
With Jacques Lameloise driving home as a declaration of faith that, “our job is generosity” and that “nothing is more difficult than simplicity”; Eric Pras clearly admits his ambition: “Continue the history of the maison and uphold the current level of excellence.”.
In other words, true to the spirit of a place where tradition and modernity work harmoniously together, Jacques Lameloise truly has his succession – the meeting of desires at the right time. At 39, Eric Pras, asserts his personality in a kitchen which always respects the product.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
Two meals with the Troisgros in Roanne and Jacques Decoret in Vichy.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
A gourmet week on the Orient Express with Régis Marcon for the Venice carnival. A truly memorable moment, partly due to the historical setting, and also to the simple fact of cooking on a grill in a train which is passing over points. Just the thing to bring you out in a cold sweat, as everything could topple over… including the trolley of crème brûlées!
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Simplicity is the key to flavour.
- Meilleurs Ouvriers de France,2004
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Chagny en Bourgogne
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