Romain Meder, practical chef

Romain Meder frowns as he shows the Primard estate. We admire the impressive 18th century residencee long owned by Catherine Deneuve, boxwood trimmed with a line, rosebushes playing climbers on trees as tall as buildings in this 40-hectare park bordering the Eure in Guinville (Eure-et-Loar). He straightens the cutlery on the table at Les Chemins, his newly-starred gastronomic establishment, and surveys his cafe Octave next door. Next, he methodically turns off the lights in the hotel rooms in broad daylight. And, having arrived at his vegetable garden, he begins by placing boxes of abandoned peas in the shade in the heat of the sun.

Round groves, sun-drenched orchards, fields that obscure the horizon… The maddening nature of the property is the source of the chef’s worries (including drought) and inspiration. “Tonight I’m going to try using Szechuan pepper leaves to flavor the peas, he trusts. And make rose kombucha. » Romain Meder has gone green. But down to earth, the 44-year-old gentle giant retains the same grit and creativity as when he was in charge of the Place Athénée in Paris just two years ago. Three Star was then the ambitious flagship company of his mentor Alain Ducasse. Before shutting down and landing, which forced him to the side roads. His new hours of peregrination by train from Paris to a gourmet gilding village where no one knew his name might seem like a demotion. It’s just the opposite. A logical, bucolic new chapter in a long culinary odyssey.

This Franck-Comtois, the son of a nurse and a gardener, grew up in Neurey-lès-la-Demie (Haute-Saône), a town of 300 inhabitants near Vesul. Hardly a butcher’s certificate in his pocket, he flew to Martinique, where he did his military service in command of a bunch of officers. Thanks to the high-end caterer Potel et Chabot, he continues to push the boundaries – a presidential meal in Beirut, a tsar’s ball in St. Petersburg… – for outsized events. Before joining Alain Ducasse in 2006, a decisive meeting. Soon, his boss sends him to supervise a restaurant at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. “There I learned how to work with cereals, millets, sorghum and legumes with nutritionists to combat junk food.”he remembers.

You have 72.71% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."