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Tomate Ancienne Du Jardin by Chef Christophe Hay, H&S Chef Of The Month

H&S Chef Of The Month

Chef Christophe Hay
Chef Christophe Hay

Nationality: French


La Maison d’à Côté

Interview With H&S Magazine

Who Is Christophe Hay?

I am the chef of La Maison d’à Côté** restaurant, located in Montlivault near le château de Chambord. It’s a two stars Michelin restaurant and we earned the Michelin green star in 2020 to congregate our actions to sustain sustainable gastronomy.

I also have two other restaurants, La Table d’à Côté* in Ardon and Côté Bistro in Montlivault.

 

Type Of Cuisine?

I am a « terroirist » chef meaning I only cook products which were cultivated nearby my restaurant La Maison d’à Côté. I cook fish from the Loire river, vegetables from my vegetable garden which is located near the restaurant. I also have my own élevage of Wagyu beef.

 

What Inspired You To Become A Chef?

My childhood is without a doubt what most inspired me to become a chef.

My grandparents lived in a farmhouse. They had their own vegetable garden, hens, ducks which constituted the Sunday meals we shared in the family. Also, my father was a butcher and he taught me how to work with meat. This is the reason why I made the choice to have my own wagyu beef farming.

 

What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?

Our biggest challenge is to pay attention to each client. We have to be more than attentive in order to provide them the unique moment we promised them.

Being benevolent is our everyday challenge. If we want that our clients remember their moment is our restaurant, so we have to do our best to welcome them in a unique environment.

In all of my restaurants, all the team comes and sees our clients. I choose to be at La Maison d’à Côté in every service in order to greet all the clients and explain to them what they will eat. It’s a little thing that changes their way to see the product.

For example, one day, I had a man who thought that he doesn’t like caviar. I took the time to explain to him how to eat this product and then he discovered the taste. We also know where our products come from, so we can tell the story to our customers. I think this is wealth today.

 

What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?

I would like to say that my biggest achievement, today, is our two stars by Michelin Guide and my “Cuisinier de l’Année 2021” title by Gault & Millau.

I’m so honored to have these two must-have awards, the two stars as well as my “Cuisinier de l’Année 2021” title. But we always have the will to move forward and to improve ourselves.

The “Cuisinier de l’Année 2021 award comes spontaneously, this is not something we worked for, so it was unexpected and really moving. It’s rewarding all our work and our passion. This is something that makes our stories more beautiful.

 

When It Comes To Cooking What Is More Important To You The Technique, The Ingredients, Or The Creativity?

Ingredients are the most important things in my cooking.

Well, in fact, the three are important but ingredients are the principal axis of our dishes. We create our dishes by thinking first of the vegetal. Then we think about technique and creativity.

Creativity is important but it often comes before ingredients. I don’t want to work like this because, for me, it’s important to concentrate the work on one product and then associate things around it. We work first on the vegetal and after we associate it a protein but never with excess. Our priority is to work on the real taste of our products.

 

Recipe Of The Week: Old Garden Tomato From Our Childhood
Orleans Mustard
| Sechuan Leaf
tomate

Serves: 10 People

The Tomatoes

Ingredients:

• 3 beef heart tomatoes
• 3 green zebra tomatoes
• 3 black Crimean tomatoes
• 3 pineapple tomatoes

The Tomato Glaze

Ingredients:

• 1 jar of Martin Pouret mustard confit
• Cooking water from the roasted tomatoes

Puff Pastry

Ingredients:

• 375g flour type 55
• 60g butter
• 15g salt
• 185g water
• 260g butter

Tomato Concassé With Orléans Mustard

Ingredients:

• 3 pieces of beef heart tomato
• 1 shallot
• 200g Orleans mustard

Tomato Confit

Ingredients:

• 20 cherry tomatoes of different colours
• Sichuan pepper leaf
• Grape seed oil.

Tomato Water

Ingredients:

• 1 kg of tomato trimmings from the different elements
• Sichuan pepper leaf

Garnish

Ingredients:

• Various herbs and wildflowers

 

Preparation: The Tomatoes

First, peel the tomatoes: remove the stalks and make a cross at the back of the tomatoes. Then plunge them into boiling water and ice them after 10 seconds, finally peel them. Then cut the tomatoes into ½ slices or quarters depending on the size of the tomato. For the most regular tomatoes, place them on a grid and sprinkle them with salt and icing sugar. Put them in the oven at 140°C for 40 minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool to room temperature. Keep
the juice for the lacquering.

Preparation: The Tomato Glaze

Recover the cooking juice from the tomatoes after they have rested and reduce by half. Then add the mustard confit to the reduced juice. Keep at temperature for the dressing.

Preparation: The Puff Pastry

In a mixer bowl, knead the dough with a hook. Leave to rest for half an hour and add the butter to make the pastry. Make 2 double turns and then 1 single turn, taking care to let it rest for 30 minutes between each turn. Roll out to the desired thickness and then roll the dough on itself to form cylinders. Leave for 24 hours in a cold room to obtain a very cold dough and cut with a knife. Then bake between two trays in a dry oven at 180° C for 8 minutes. At the end of these 8 minutes, cut the puff pastry to the desired diameter using a cookie cutter, then bake again for 4 minutes at 160°C. Leave to cool and keep in an airtight tin until ready to serve.

Preparation: The Tomato Paste

Peel and finely chop the shallot. Fry it in with olive oil. In the meantime, crush the tomatoes and remove the seeds. Cut them into regular slices and cook them over high heat with the shallot, then remove them in a sieve so that they drain. Cool and season with Orléans mustard to give this condiment character.

Preparation: The Candied Cherry Tomatoes

Peel the cherry tomatoes. Then arrange them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the oil and dried Sichuan pepper leaves. Bake in the oven at 110°C for 3 hours. Once cooked, allow to cool to room temperature, then remove.

Preparation: The Tomato Water

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Then, using a spoon, remove all the tomato seeds and juice. In the Thermomix, blend the tomato flesh. Then remove to a saucepan and bring to the boil. The aim is to separate the pulp and the tomato water. To do this, once boiling, strain all the pulp with a dry cloth and keep only the water. Infuse the dehydrated Sichuan pepper leaf. Then, season this water with the seeds, a dash of Orleans vinegar, salt, and pepper, and keep it cool.

Preparation: The Garnish

Make a salad of herbs and wildflowers for the dressing.

Dressage

Remember to take out all your elements at least 1 hour before plating so that they come back to temperature and can develop a maximum of flavour. First, season the roasted tomatoes with the mustard confit glaze and arrange some herbs and wildflowers on top. At the last moment, to prevent the puff pastry from becoming soggy, place a tablespoon of tomato paste with Orleans mustard on the puff pastry and place the roasted tomato on top.

For the second serving, season the raw tomato base with mustard confit. Pour the tomato water with Sichuan pepper into a bowl. On the right, place the base with a pompom of seasoned salad herbs for freshness. Finish by placing the tomato confit in parallel.

*PHOTOGRAPHY BY: La Maison d’à Côté


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