Register

Register
forgot password?
remember me



introduction & gossip

Add a Reply
Topic Message
TonyD
TonyD

Another Top Chef Turns in His Michelin Stars

message posted 19-Nov-08 09:36:34
Its not all about the stars, its about the quality of life !!

AS he roamed the world searching for spices and exotic ingredients for his renowned restaurant on the coast of Brittany, Olivier Roellinger liked to compare himself to the corsairs who once sailed out from the ports near his home.

Now he has toned down his ambitions.

Mr. Roellinger, 53, announced this month that he is turning in his three Michelin stars and that next month he will close the Maisons de Bricourt, his restaurant in the small Brittany port of Cancale.

“Physically, I can no longer continue cooking,” Mr. Roellinger said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “My legs no longer hold me.”

His difficulties are a result of a savage beating he underwent in a gang attack that left him for dead at the age of 21. After two years in a wheelchair, he abandoned his studies in chemistry and began cooking.

With his wife, Jane, he opened the Maisons de Bricourt in 1982 in the 18th-century house he was born in, winning his first Michelin star in 1984, the second in 1988 and the third in 2006.

Mr. Roellinger is the fourth three-Michelin star chef in France to renounce his stars in recent years. Joël Robuchon handed in his in 1996, Alain Senderens did so in 2005 and the Alsatian chef Antoine Westermann followed suit in 2006.

Mr. Roellinger’s cuisine is rooted in his native Brittany. Since part of the world’s spice trade once passed through Brittany’s ports, he felt the need to travel extensively, often by boat, to uncover new spices and flavor combinations. His food is an interplay of familiar and exotic — lobster with sherry and cocoa, or scallops infused with “Dream of Cochin,” a mixture of spices including coriander, anise and cardamom.

Mr. Roellinger was not clear about what he will do next. But he said he wants to share those flavors in a less formal setting.

“After having fed the well-off,” he said, “I want to share my cooking differently: less mise-en-scène, with a more fluid, accessible and natural experience. In a word: more modern.”

His said his restaurant Le Coquillage, near Cancale, would serve food similar to that in his three-star restaurant but in a simpler environment.

Mr. Roellinger said he and his wife would work on developing the spice importing company Mr. Roellinger runs under his name, along with a cooking school, a hotel and cottages, and a pastry shop, all in and around Cancale. He is also planning to write three books and rework his three-star restaurant for conferences.

François Simon, food critic for Le Figaro, applauded Mr. Roellinger’s decision to close his restaurant if he was not in top form. Many chefs, Mr. Simon said, have taken the habit of delegating rather than cooking. He said he was also heartened by Mr. Roellinger’s new approach. “I was asked once where I’d most like to celebrate my birthday, and I answered Le Coquillage,” he said. “That for me is really Roellinger’s cooking.”

Page: 


Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on Twitter Find Us on Facebook
© ChefsWorld.net ChefsWorld   |  Terms of Use |  Site map  |  Web Design by OS3