Xavier Mathieu: The right balance for exceptional simplicity

We had the chance to speak with Michelin-starred Chef Xavier Mathieu in the sumptuous setting of the Hotel & Spa Le Phebus Relais & Châteux * * * * A moment during which the Chef told us about his cuisine but also about his multiple and varied inspirations he draws from each of his travels and each of his collaborations.

RELAIS & CHATEAUX, 220 Route de Murs, 84220 , Joucas

Page updated on 24/09/2020

Started in the Michelin Guide, the gastronomic restaurant 'La Table de Xavier MATHIEU' revived with great art ancient Provencal recipes. The Chef regularly shares his passion for gastronomy by organising cooking classes.

The interview with the Chef

How do you contribute to the development of Provence cuisine, what are your challenges?

I don't pretend to evolve it, but to pass on to my teams what I've been told. I make my kitchen by putting my whole soul in it, I continually seek a complete kitchen with a right balance, just excellence.

I want to make simplicity “exceptional” with the best products. The equation can be summed up as follows: 90% good products in the right season at the right producer and 10% good preparation, just cooking at the right time.

My challenge is to sublimate what is simple, to make a successful marriage between flavor, color, smell and presentation.

What link do you make between traditional and contemporary cuisine?

In contemporary cuisine, there is less fat, less alcohol, less sauces it is said more “healthy”. Our cuisine evolves, after the 40s, difficult times, it was appreciable to eat a lot and fat.

Nowadays, the company aspires to more lightness in its plate and the experience turns to the sensations of taste and presentation: the experience of the eye and the pleasure of taste.

Traditional cuisine in its ingredients can be totally contemporary in its staging.

Chef's recipe

Squash Tartare

Squash Vinaigrette

Baked squash puree 425gr - Chiseled shallot 35gr - 1,2 chopped garlic cloves - Squash seed oil 50gr - Sunflower oil 50gr - Raspberry vinegar 50gr - Rice vinegar 50gr - A pinch of dry thyme

Preparation of the tartare:

Peel and cut the raw squash into 1mm brunoise, salt and season with the squash dressing.

Place on plate like a beef tartare and add a few trout eggs, a few squash seeds and a few drops of old balsamic vinegar.

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