Guy Martin, from Savoy to the royal gardens
A self-taught and passionate man born in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Guy Martin slowly climbed the ladder of haute cuisine to eventually take over, in 1991, one the finest restaurants in France: Paris' Grand Véfour. In this 18th-century jewel of decorative arts, he now serves up cheerful, inventive dishes, dishes that merited him three Michelin stars from 2000 to 2008.
What is your philosophy in the kitchen?
I prepare contemporary dishes in which products are the stars. I honour and highlight each ingredient in order to make my clients experience part of a dream.
What are your signature dishes?
Duck liver raviolis, truffle emulsion cream and, for dessert, artichoke crème brûlée, candied vegetables and bitter almond sherbet.
Were do you find inspiration?
In paintings, in the forest, or with collaborators...
The Grand Véfour is a place filled with history. Is your cooking influenced by this emblematic venue?
The setting helps me and is like the foundation of a house: something on which I can lean in order to make my kitchen radiate.
How to you adapt to your diverse clientele?
I love people and like to have them discover my cooking. I give the best of myself in order to approach and reach my clients.
What product would you like to introduce to someone coming to France for the first time?
That depends on the region they'll be visiting. I'd suggest for them to try Beaufort in Savoy, a good foie gras in the South West, and langoustine in Brittany.
What kind of advice would you give tourists looking for a successful culinary experience while in France?
In a gastronomic restaurant, I'd tell them to let themselves be guided by the chef, and to be open to receiving the dishes proposed to them.