Describe your culinary style…What has inspired you the most?
My style of cooking is contemporary French with real references to traditional cuisine. I leave the leading role to vegetables. Vegetables and plants are my biggest source of inspiration.
You are set to appear in the highly acclaimed guest series at Lyle’s, London. Can you tell us a bit more about what will be in store for guests?
Before the actual day, we never really know what can come of these types of collaborations. I will bring dishes that represent, and are typical of, what we do in Paris. 15 days prior to the event, I still don’t entirely know what I will do. Even though we have two distinct personalities our culinary philosophies, our influences, our generation, the geographical locations of our restaurants in our cities will allow us to succeed and create something harmonious and astounding. In the kitchen, facing our ideas and all the produces, osmosis will naturally generate a seamless menu.
What are you most indispensable ingredients?
We can’t work without butter or acidity (vinegars, citrus, …)
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
My first diner in Michel Bras restaurant and my firsts days at l’Arpège as a trainee.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
I would tell myself to take my time, consolidate the foundations of classic cuisine and travel. Above all be discreet.
What’s next for you/ what projects do you have lined up?
Nothing special, consolidate and better our organisation and our working conditions. Work on the elaboration of more “homemade” things, like breads or pickling.
What is you guilty pleasure?
I am an avid fan of Savoyard fondue. It is the greatest culinary invention!
What is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
I never had the chance to taste any of London’s vanguard foods. I would really love to dine at Lyle’s or the Clove Club. On a different spectrum, I would love to discover Mexican cuisine.
James + Bertrand
What is the concept behind the menu you will create for the event? Why did you feel that this was an important direction for you to take?
Bertrand | The menu will not be a concept, it has an objective, create something delicious. That is the ultimate goal. I would like to collaborate on a menu in which you will be able to find the DNA of both restaurants. The challenge encountered in these type of events is to offer insight into what we do every day and create something unique resulting from the fusing of two culinary identities.
James | I am looking forward to showing Bertrand some of the fantastic produce from the UK. Having had a few Parisians in the kitchen and friends who’ve worked over there I have started to see what ingredients we have that they don’t so I am going to make sure we have some aged beef and mutton. I’m also really looking forward to him seeing the quality of the fish and shellfish we have here.”
More information about Bertand Grebaut can be found here…
Find out more information about Bertrand’s cooking career
56 Shoreditch High Street