H&S Chef Of The Month: Meet Chef Arnaud Lallement From France
H&S Chef Of The Month
Chef Arnaud Lallement
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is Arnaud Lallement?
Chef Arnaud, the three-star restaurant’s chef runs a family-owned hotel and restaurant founded in 1975 by Jean-Pierre and Colette Lallement (his parents), located in Tinqueux, near Reims.
The gifted young man awarded with a third Michelin star at just 40 years old – joins the ranks of iconic chefs made famous for contemporary cuisine. He is next in line in a long-standing French tradition, a fact he does not shy away from. Rather, he jokes about it: “It took me a few years before becoming obsessed with Michelin stars. As I recall, I must have been five years old!”
Trained by Roger Vergé, Michel Guérard and Alain Chapel, Arnaud Lallement boasts a culinary education that exceeds the usual culinary skills. Arnaud Lallement’s own establishment has been built to echo the Champagne region – its land, its scenery and its wine – with each dish inspired by a different champagne cru.
Type Of Cuisine?
Emotive cuisine, which reflects the chef’s unique inspiration and his daily personal life. Cooking is atmospheric, contemporary, gourmet and filled to the brim with emotion. Just like the essence of wine for Gaston Bachelard, a master chef balances the different elements in a culinary symphony, always managing to hit the right notes and create the place “where sky and soil combine”. For Arnaud Lallement, this place is the Champagne region – its landscapes, its wine and its power. He translates its very essence through music, images, words and flavours.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
Chef Arnaud believes he would not be where he is without the work of his father Jean-Pierre who, with assistance from his wife Colette, had opened the first restaurant in Châlons-sur-Vesle before moving to Tinqueux accompanied by his first Michelin star in 1986. Arnaud Lallement’s cuisine is a continuing tribute to the memory of his late father. This is expressed no better than in his blue lobster dish which positively delights diners who are nostalgic for the perfection of straight-forward cuisine that passionately incorporates sauces. Arnaud Lallement knows that his love of cuisine didn’t just appear from nowhere, rather it follows a family passion that he continues with his mother Colette, his sister Mélanie and his wife Magali.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
Each dish is inspired by a different champagne cru. To make this a success, you need to be in-tune with the calendar and know how to recall the different seasons and years, the grapevine’s pruning time, and the bad weather that all together create the particular features of this sparkling wine. You have to be respectful and unassuming; let the champagne do the talking. Starting with sharp and bitter accents, the flavours begin to harmonise and string together the different tastes from the fresh, vibrant produce, each one infused with the terroir’s own special character.
That’s the price you pay for emotion, fuelled by the sincerity of a chef who knows how to stay in-tune with the days and climates.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
Three Michelin stars & a family-owned restaurant.
When It Comes To Cooking What Is More Important To You The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?
L’Assiette Champenoise is made one of-kind by its emotive cuisine, reflecting the chef’s unique inspiration and his daily personal life. Each meal at L’Assiette Champenoise is a part of the house’s great history.
Recipe Of The Week: Hazelnut Praline Nougat
Serves: 6 people │ Preparation: 2 hours 15 minutes │ Cooking: 50 minutes
• 40g of 66% hazelnut praline
• 40g of hazelnut paste
• 50g semi-skimmed milk
Put the praline and the hazelnut paste in the Thermomix, mix pouring in the milk little by little. Pour the smooth mixture into a 3.5cm diameter semisphere Flexipan and place it in the freezer.
Hazelnut Puff Pastry
• 25g chocolate beans (Azélia lacté, Valrhona)
• 55g of 66% hazelnut praline
• 50g of feuilletine
Melt the chocolate beans in a bain-marie (double boiler), add the praline and the feuilletine & mix well. Place between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out to a thickness of 2mm. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then cut out discs with a 6cm diameter cookie cutter.
• 62g of whole milk
• 62g whipping cream
• 1 egg yolk
• 12g of caster sugar
Heat the milk with the cream, beat the egg yolk & sugar together. Combine the two and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, for about 2 minutes.
• 150g custard
• 3g gelatin (1.5 sheets)
• 75g of 66% hazelnut praline
• 100g whipping cream
Rehydrate the gelatin in cold water, drain and fold into the hot custard, then pour onto the praline. Mix well with a spatula, then let cool. At 40 °C, incorporate the whipped cream, mix with a spatula. pour three-quarters of the mixture into Flexipan semispheres 6cm in diameter, then add the hazelnut fondant. Place a dab of mousse, & top with the hazelnut pastry disc and refrigerate.
Whipped Hazelnut Ganache
• 173g whipping cream
• 1g of gelatin
• 40g of 66% hazelnut praline
• 40g of hazelnut paste
Rehydrate the gelatin in cold water. Heat 23g of cream, incorporate the squeezed gelatin and gradually pour over the praline. Emulsify the mixture, smooth it with a little cream and then add the rest of the cold cream & mix again. Keep in the fridge at least 1 night before use.
Caramel Hazelnut Nougat
• 210g caster sugar
• 75g glucose
• 50g water
• 135g honey
• 250g whole hazelnuts
• 30g egg whites
• 12g caramel concentrate
• Gold dust
Heat 200g of the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan, and the honey in a separate saucepan. Roast the hazelnuts in the oven at 150°C for 20 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and the remaining sugar. Add in the honey when it reaches 60°C and the sugar at 155°C. Dry out the mixture for 5 minutes with a blowtorch under the mixer then add in the caramel and hazelnuts. Shape the nougat into nuggets of approximately 150g each. Leave to cool then cover with gold dust.
Hazelnut Milk Ice Cream
• 270g whole milk
• 8g of 0% milk powder
• 26g caster sugar
• 24g atomized glucose
• 2g ice cream stabilizer
• 64g of 66% hazelnut praline
Heat the milk in a saucepan. At 25°C, add in the milk powder, at 30°C add in the sugar and glucose powder & at 45°C add the stabilizer. Pour a small portion of the liquid over the praline whilst mixing in the centre to create an elastic and shiny core. Gradually pour in the rest of the liquid & mix. Return everything to the saucepan, then cook for 2 minutes at 85°C. Leave to cool, put in the refrigerator. At 4°C mix rapidly then refrigerate for 12 hours before putting in the freezer for at least 6 hours or churn in an ice cream maker.
• 200g dark chocolate (Caribbean 66%, Valrhona)
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie at 50C, then cool it to 28°C, either on a bowl filled with ice or by keeping it off the heat while stirring. Reheat it slightly to 31°C. With a brush, make lines on guitar sheets & place them on a rack.
• Icing sugar
• Fresh hazelnuts
• Cocoa Powder
• Gold leaf
Dressing The Plate
Take out the hazelnut mousse an hour before serving & make a spiral of whipped praline ganache on top. On each plate, place a bowl in the centre, sprinkle icing sugar then remove the bowl. Place the hazelnut mousse in the middle, cover with chocolate decorations & place a few pieces of fresh hazelnut, a little cocoa and pieces of gold leaf. In a bowl, place a quenelle of hazelnut milk ice cream. Grate the hazelnut caramel nougat on top using a Microplane grater.