Experimental, modern and fragile: Alexandre Gauthier’s cuisine

Here’s a presentation of the dinner prepared by the chef from La Grenouillère, who arrived from north France at the Hub of Identità in Milan

28-06-2019
Alexandre Gauthier in a photo by OnStage Studio

Alexandre Gauthier in a photo by OnStage Studio 

For four dinners, from the 5th to the 8th of June, Identità Golose Milano hosted French chef Alexandre Gauthier, from restaurant La Grenouillère in La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, two Michelin stars. What were these dinners like? What did the guests eat? 

To begin with, let’s start by saying that Gauthier is not the classic French chef. He doesn’t offer his clients the most classic French cuisine, but a new vision which is nonetheless based on the experience of the past. The chef is convinced that without the past, there’s no future, and this is why he always draws inspiration from the heritage of the great French cuisine. As a result, his cuisine is certainly contemporary, while respecting tradition.

When Alexandre decided to run the restaurant after his father, who opened La Grenouillère, he reinvented the cuisine offering something special and elegant. Today he describes his cuisine in three words: «experimental, modern and fragile»; fragile in its being delicate and refined. 

In particular, the meaning of the world "delicateness" in this context can be found in the choice the chef made to make the smallest use of heavy sauces, butter and spices, always trying to present pure flavours to the guest. Gauthier says he doesn’t want to cover the ingredients and their natural beauty. On the contrary, his idea is to let flavours play their role in the theatre of fine dining.

For the dinners in Milan, Gauthier explained he only chose seasonal ingredients: fresh, intense, rich of flavour. His cuisine, in this menu, is presented by the Turnip capsule entrée. The presentation is perfect, very elegant and creative. The colours recall the both strong and delicate flavour - the turnip and its elegance meet a savoury touch given by the scallops, creating a magically good unison.

Turnip capsule

Turnip capsule

Then the chef offered a great French classic –Blinis of whole milk but with crab, paired with Chablis Vieilles Vignes AOC 2016 E.A.R.L. George. A dish that unites Gauthier’s respect for his origins and his desire for true and tasty flavours, like the one of crab.

Blinis of whole milk and crab 

Blinis of whole milk and crab 

The next course was Chicken, verbena, green wheat and vegetal anemone. The chef says that the dish recalls his territory, its colours and flavours. The taste is very delicate, very tender and particularly balanced. It makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a field or a garden, surrounded by nature, and immersed in the aroma of verbena.

Chicken, verbena, green wheat and vegetal anemone 

Chicken, verbena, green wheat and vegetal anemone 

As for the dessert, Gauthier’s idea was to mix a Timbale of goat cheese with apricot ice cream. A dessert that manages to be both classic, because of its flavours, and experimental, because of the modern techniques used. Served in two separate dishes, the dessert immediately strikes with its sweet, but hardly exaggerated note.

Timbale of goat cheese and apricot ice cream 

Timbale of goat cheese and apricot ice cream 

«The words “too much” are the difference between a strange dish and an innovative and experimental dish» - this is how Alexandre Gauthier explains his choice of not going too far beyond in his play with creativity. «My cuisine tries to make clients enjoy themselves, to give them the joy of sharing, of tasting and experiencing emotions through the dishes I serve» - the chef says when we ask him about the message given by his cuisine.

It’s certainly true: the cuisine of Gauthier is a mirror of his personality: pure and honest, very creative and innovative, but at the same time very delicate and balanced. 

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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Tales and photos from the first International Hub of Gastronomy in Via Romagnosi, 3 in Milan