France chef of the year | Quality Villas

france chef of the year

France is one of the most highly-renowned gastronomic
capitals of the world, and recognition for being a top chef here is one of the
most sought-after accolades in the culinary world. In France, the awards given
by the Gault and Millau guide is the second most-trusted, behind only the
Michelin guide. 

The newest person to have received the prestigious accolade
of being France’s chef of the year, according to the Gault and Millau Guide, is
chef Alexandre Couillon, who runs one of the country’s best seafood
restaurants, La Marine. La Marine is hidden away on the unpretentious island of
Noirmoutier, located off the coast of western France’s Vendee region, near some
of our luxury French villas.

When Couillon first took on the restaurant, the place
struggled to attract customers even in the summer, though now people travel
more than 500 miles to dine there. He added: “It’s amazing… we have five
or six emails from abroad every day to book tables next year.”

The secret to Couillon’s success is keeping things simple,
with “no snobbishness, no truffles nor caviar”. He reworks classic
ingredients, many of which are sourced from his garden as well as the nearby
fishing port of L’Herbaudiere, in an ingenious way to create dishes the critics
adore. Among the culinary delights on offer are sardine crackers, cauliflower
ice cream and Colonnata lard with squid, which have also helped La Marine gain
two Michelin stars.

Despite La Marine’s success, however, Couillon doesn’t
plan to continue with the restaurant any different than before. He said: “Nothing
is going to change. I remain an artisan. I just want to get up every
morning and keep that same pleasure of going to work.”

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