Is there a specific dish you can recall from your childhood that has influenced you?
Yes, of course — there are plenty of dishes (or ‘tours de main‘) that have influenced me, but I’ve got to say that my grandmother’s ‘galette‘ savory buckwheat flour crepe is certainly the one that I remember the most. It is a complex process to realize a perfect round, soft, correctly colored crepe. There is a lot to master in order to come close to perfection for this typical native dish from where I grew up.
You grew up in Brittany and have worked in Dinan, Bordeaux, and Paris. Do you miss French culinary traditions now that you’re living in Las Vegas?
Of course there is a lot that I miss from back home, especially from a culinary standpoint. We are pretty fortunate here in Las Vegas and have all kinds of different restaurants and food suppliers, but there are always artisanal products like local cheese, poultry, charcuterie or pastries that are just not the same.
How does your French heritage shape your cuisine at db Brasserie?
Well, I have been cooking in the States now for more than 15 years and this is the first time that I am working for a French chef in a French brasserie restaurant, so of course it has been a great opportunity for me to apply some of my French heritage food knowledge to our guests’ experience.
What made you come to America? Has moving to Las Vegas changed your culinary philosophy in any way?
I came to Las Vegas to work with a great friend of mine at The Mansions at the MGM GRAND, and yes, it definitely changed the way I look at food — especially how Americans are exposed at a very young age to a much more diverse food culture.
You joined the db Brasserie team relatively recently. Why the change? What does it mean to you to work in one of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants?
I spent the last twelve years at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole and it was a hard call to leave Charlie and his team. I told Daniel many years ago that one day I would work for him, so when the call came I knew it was time. I cannot say how thankful I am to Charlie for guiding and leading me for all those years. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to work for two chefs who really make a difference in the United States food scene.
Do you have a signature dish that you are particularly proud of?
That’s a hard one… I would say that I like to make all kinds of charcuterie and I really enjoy making pork head cheese.
Do you have a favorite ingredient that you enjoy cooking with?
I like avocado a lot and use it in many dishes for the texture and the flavor, of course, but also because it pairs with just about everything. To me, you can never go wrong with avocado. This is probably also because when I was growing up, avocados were definitely an exotic food.
If you could have a meal cooked for you by one chef in the world, who would that be?
It would be by chef Sukiyabashi Jiro — he has a sushi restaurant in the Tokyo metro.
Apart from your restaurant, where would you advise Las Vegas visitors to go to experience local cuisine?
There is a barbecue place not far from the Strip called Rolling Smoke Barbecue that I visit with my family sometimes – I really enjoy it.
Where would you advise culture lovers to go in Las Vegas?
Henry Miller penned 11 work schedule commandments in his book, Henry Miller on Writing. Number 7 is ‘Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.’ Do you adhere to a particular morning routine or way of working which helps you to be productive?
Not really, but I like to get to work early so I can take advantage of a quiet and calm kitchen to get some things done before everything starts to accelerate towards the service time.
- db Brasserie is one of the winners of The Culture Trip’s Vincent Pouessel Local Favorite 2015 Award. The Local Favorite badge is awarded to our favorite local towns, restaurants, artists, galleries, and everything in between. We are passionate about showcasing popular local talents on a global scale, so we have cultivated a carefully selected, but growing community.