Extraordinary encounters and heightened awareness
Marie began her trip in Germany at the Talblick restaurant, run by the Weitbrecht family, in the heart of the Black Forest. “Thanks to them, I experienced the most striking experience of my life. The grandmother and grandfather, Werner, practically adopted me. They speak only Swabian, a south German dialect and their son Claus, who won a Bocuse de Bronze in 2003, translated. I discovered something I had never imagined: an entire family driven by their sense of historical responsibility. In fact, the great grandfather saved a Jewish German family during the Second World War. He brought them food, hid them and helped them to cross the French border. Werner and Claus were very moved when they told me this story and, for them, welcoming French interns was a way for them to reconcile the past and the present.”
The family is just as passionate and open about their cooking, and they shared all the tricks of the trade with Marie to create the typical tastes and dishes of their region. This enabled her to discover Maultaschen, raviolis stuffed with meat, which have become her favorite dish. “When I make this dish, it’s an homage to the grandfather Werner, who symbolizes the love of his terroir, as we say in French, that special relationship people have with their local environment. It’s also a way of transmitting his respect for work well done and to add the little extras that make the difference when cooking.”
A laboratory for better cooking and living
Marie then went on to work with Chef Ørjan Johannessen in Norway. “I experienced something completely different, but just as interesting, from a human and gastronomic standpoint.” She spent four winter months at the Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri restaurant, which is not very busy at that time of the year, in a region where the sun shines just four hours a day. “I met 20 other young people who work in the kitchen, as par of a work-study program, and we spent our time trying out very daring recipes. Chef Ørjan Johannessen, Bocuse d’Or in 2015, gave us a great deal of freedom to explore our ideas without any constraints. It was a true laboratory, enabling us to learn and improve our cooking and to develop our understanding of life.”
Back to the basics
From March to June 2018, Marie ended her yearlong adventure in Belgium, with Chef Ferdy Debecker, Bocuse de Bronze in 1999, at the Eyckerhof restaurant in Bornem, near Mechelen, a supporter of the Trophée Jeunes Talents since the very start of the program. “Once again, I was given the opportunity to do something very different, which was very complementary to my two previous experiences. For me, it was a return to the fundamentals of classical gastronomy, in a restaurant that has had its Michelin star for a very long time, which they have maintained with panache over the years. I was able to practice the precision and the discipline of serious cooking, as part of a small but perfectly well organized brigade and I was able to make very different dishes, from appetizers to main courses. The trip ended with an amazing opportunity, when I was given the responsibility of the pastry section and was allowed to accompany and support the Belgian team at the European Bocuse d’Or which was held in Torino on the 11th and 12th of June. This was the perfect transition to my professional life, allowing me to make some great contacts and widen my network. It was really a perfect finish to this extraordinary and unforgettable trip, made possible by the Boiron Frères Company Foundation.”
Photo: Claude Fougeirol
“I’ve always wanted to do lots of things. I didn’t know what to choose!” Marie is incredibly inquisitive. She wants to understand, know and experiment with everything. So, what job should she choose? At the last year of high school – studying science and engineering subjects – she was attracted to engineering but also psychology, art therapy and even water tasting! One thing leading to another, she decided “I’m going to be a sommelier”. Her father had introduced her to wine during their holidays since she was old enough to partake. She found it fascinating. She therefore enrolled for an updating course (MAN). “At my first cooking class, even before we started, we were just standing in front of the cooker with the equipment, our aprons on, and I fell in love on the spot. It was an incredible emotion, a revelation… And the more I move forward, the more obvious it seems. I’ve found my way”.
During her two internships in luxury hotels, Marie has grasped the opportunities offered to her. At the four-star Cap Ferret Hôtel, working on bistronomic cuisine, she enjoyed the chef’s total trust and, for her first work experience, found herself working independently, covering purchases to assembly, in a role very close to management.
In Corsica, at the Hôtel Miramar (5-star), she worked in all positions, proving her worth and was even promoted as chef for one evening. The chef wanted her to experience this management experience. With just three years’ catering training behind her, she is already passionate about the operational aspects, the organisation of teams and even hygiene.
But her dream is to travel! Far away. She prepared her parents for that many years ago and already has a significant humanitarian overseas experience behind her: one month in a village in Burkina Faso. With the Boiron Frères Young Talents Trophy, she finally takes the plunge! Into gourmet cuisine and international teams. Marie can’t wait experience it all and tell her stories. “Boiron Frères Corporate Foundation has given us an amazing opportunity. I want to share this experience with as many people as possible, to make them want to leave, be at the top of their game and be ready and willing all the time. It’s the only way we have to thank them”. Her only apprehension is her phobia of eels which she fears she will have to cook in Belgium… But we believe that this Trophy year should pan out well for Marie.
Photos : Umami, Ginko
|Fillet of smoked haddock||0,2 Kg|
|Liquid cream||0,03 L|
|Chopped walnuts||0,030 Kg|
|Red peppers||0,850 Kg|
|Chestnut flour||0,15 Kg|
|Olive oil||0,01 L|
|Les vergers Boiron Ginger speciality||0,01 Kg|
|Les vergers Boiron Red Pepper puree||0,05 Kg|
Dice the pumpkin.
Cook in the steam oven for 15 minutes, then strain.
Soften the gelatine, add to the warm pumpkin and add the Ginger speciality.
Whip the cream and fold in.
Smoked haddock rillettes insert
Pouch the fillets in half milk-half water, remove the skin and chop the flesh. Finely chop mushrooms into a “duxelles”, add the smoked haddock with some whipped cream, the mustard and horseradish. Form a cylindrical insert in plastic film, freeze.
Mix the chestnut flour, chopped walnuts, eggs, sugar, olive oil, salt. Pour the preparation onto a sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut into a rectangular shape. Set aside.
Dilute ladles of 2 red pepper puree with 6 ladles of hot water. Soften the gelatine and dilute in the hot preparation. Strain.
Boil the peas, blend and strain.
Mini sponge cake
Mix the eggs, sugar, flour. Strain. Add the green colouring. Pour into the siphon and fill a notched plastic cup to 1/3, leave to rest. Cook in the microwave at the last minute.
Assembly and presentation
Fill half of the gutter with the pumpkin foam, then position the smoked haddock rillettes insert and cover with the mousse. Place the sponge on top. Freeze, ice the log, freeze, decorate with mushrooms, radishes and the mini sponge cake. Decorate with drops of coulis.