What/Who inspired you to become a chef?
My grandfather was a 3 star chef and he asked me to join him. I wanted to be like him.
Can you explain a bit more about Baumiere for those who haven’t visited?
Oustau de Baumanière is a restaurant located in Les Baux de Provence in the middle of Les Alpilles, near Arles and Avignon. It has been created by my grandfather, Raymond Thuilier en 1945. 3 stars Michelin from 1954 till 1990 and 2 stars from 1990 till today. The dining room is located in a Provencal mas from the 16C century.
What is your culinary philosophy?
My philosophy is to serve dishes that look simple but are elaborated with love. Vegetables (I have my own vegetable garden), olive oil, herbs, and fresh products from the area are the base of cooking. I don’t like when you have too many different tastes on your plate. The accessories or accompaniments must not hide the main taste. The idea behind my cooking comes from my own experiences, lectures, recipes I have read, and what is currently available at the market.
Do you have a particular dish that was a favorite to create?
I was very proud of a black truffle ravioli with sweetbread and leeks that I created.
What do you think is on the horizon for the future of the fine dining scene?
French cooking will still be very successful in the future. People are concerned by the quality of food and the variety of good products, but I believe that the quality of the chefs in France is going to ensure the wellbeing of French gastronomy.
Who’s restaurant would you most like to eat at and why?
I like very much the food of Pierre Gagnaire, so I would love to eat in any of his restaurants.
Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
Working to make the restaurant better and better.
To find out more about Jean-André, the restaurant and the Baumanière les Baux de Provence hotel, click here | www.baumaniere.com