La maison du bonheur
« Do everything possible to make the customer happy, right down to the smallest detail - that’s the only thing that matters. ». To achieve this, Yves Camdeborde believes that nothing should be overlooked: « I believe that a restaurant is an overall experience. The quality of the food represents 50% of a meal’s success. The waiter’s smile, the detailed care given to the customer, the pretty crockery all have their part to play in making the customer happy ».
In the beginning, there was Christian Constant
Yves Camdeborde learned this requirement of high standards and overall consistency from his mentor at Le Crillon, the same chef who opened his eyes and showed him his path: « through his sensitivity and openness, Christian is the chef who taught me the most. He allowed me to be bold and to be myself. He revealed my personality and enabled me to express it without ever hampering my creative freedom at a time when kitchens were far more dictatorial environments ».
Tradition, creativity and openness
After the good work of Nouvelle Cuisine in the 1970s, « I worry that today, culinary fusion is taking things a little too far and that, through its standardisation, this type of cooking will mean the end for exceptional French food. This is why I am increasingly focused on the foundations of our traditional cuisine. Which does not preclude a lighter approach, removing what previously was heavy or greasy by adding a few more contemporary touches. But overall, I want my cooking to feel and taste French... My respect for tradition should not be confused with conformism or conventionalism. Quite the opposite. Open to the world and curious about everything, I feed my culinary inspiration on my travels. Every day, I challenge and question myself, listening, reading and opening up to others to stay energised, on the cutting edge of the culinary zeitgeist. ».
All products are equal
For a long time in fine dining establishments, only so-called « noble » products were served because the chefs ignored other ingredients. « I believe that a chef should cook a carrot, sardine or pig’s trotter with the same respect and to the same standard as caviar, turbot or a fillet of beef. But to achieve that, they must select their products and ingredients with the greatest of care because, whatever the price, they must be of the highest quality ».
Original textures and concentrated flavour
« What fascinates me and guides me in my work is a rediscovery of original textures. Far too often, certain cooking methods alter the texture, like sous-vide cooking which softens flesh and standardises the flavour. Personally, I like to cook with the aim of recreating the fleshy quality of a rib of beef or piece of cod. Flavour is also at the very centre of my process. In particular, enhancing the taste of an ingredient by using different types of seasoning that play the role of flavour enhancers. Like the fragrance of a spice, the freshness of a herb or the acidity of a citrus fruit ».