A meeting with Stéphane Huet, chef at the la Civelle restaurant at Trentemoult. A chef who puts freshness at the heart of his trade.
An apprenticeship with renowned chefs
After having studied under the attentive eye of his tutor, Claude Brunot (himself trained by Eugénie Brazier, the first woman to receive three Michelin stars), Stéphane Huet worked in the kitchens of Michel Sarran, Franck Dolisi (Master Chef of France), Claude Vergé, Bernard Loiseau and even Monsieur Hiramatsu. Stéphane Huet practices a “traditional, creative and seasonal” cuisine. “This training with renowned chefs has instilled in me know-how, a knowledge of the produce and a certain discipline with regard to everyday tasks.”
Cooking, an alternate destination
Originally a sports enthusiast, it was after a serious injury that Stéphane Huet had to completely rethink his career options. Raised in Breton gastronomy by his grandparents, he had the opportunity to learn, at a very young age, to love the local fresh produce by way of meals cooked in the fireplace with mouth-watering aromas. It was his uncle (previously a steward on the famous liner “Le France”) who really encouraged him to go further, “At his side I discovered the taste for big things and great cuisine. My new career option then became evident: become a chef.”
La Civelle, an authentic restaurant on the banks of the Loire
In May 2014, it was at La Civelle on the banks of the Loire at Trentemoult that the seasoned chef continued his adventure. An authentic restaurant where one lives well and eats well. Babeth and Vincent Leduc, the owners, give him complete freedom with regard to the purchasing and selection of products. He only works with fresh in-season products in despite of the very high volumes. In the kitchen, the chef manages a team of 11 people and works in close collaboration with the Sommelier who consults him frequently for the best “food and wine” combinations.
Above all, his cuisine is about taste, flavours and quality produce
“Above all, I prefer to work with local producers for reasons of practicality, availability and the cost of transport. Our producers listen to us and are available at all times. We work with Palmiloire for Alain FRANÇOIS products, JA Gastronomie and Les Salaisons de l’Erdre for meat and Bouyer Guindon for seasonal vegetables.”
“I pay particular attention to fresh vegetables, we use 38 different varieties throughout the year. This passion comes from the chefs that trained me and also from my Breton origins which introduced me to an enormous number of different varieties.”
In his kitchen, Stéphane Huet practices a zero-waste policy, all of the products are used during the day or the evening to make up his varied menus. Imagination, creativity, and reactivity are the keywords.
His vision of Duck Foie Gras
Whether pan-fried or in a terrine, Duck Foie Gras finds a place in all of the dishes. It is present year-round on the menu in all of its forms, “I regularly combine it with fish, from a local wholesaler, Vives-Eaux.” “Your product completely corresponds to the quality/price ratio that I have fixed within my financial/management/purchasing policy. It is a high-quality Duck Foie Gras which releases very little fat during cooking which is the proof of high-level know-how and elevated requirements. It is flexible to the touch and, again, has a very suitable quality/price ratio.”
A guiding principle?
“I do not conceive of a cuisine without adaptation to seasonality.”
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