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Chef and culinary expert interview 2

Expert---Chef-Berard-lgChef: M Berard

Cooking since: for the last 46 years!

Who influenced your cooking: My Dad

What are the trademarks of your cooking? Fresh, seasonal produce, cooked with care to bring out the full taste

Favourite dish? Bisque Bouille (my interpretation of Bouillabaisse)

Toughest dish? Savoury soufflé

Savoury or sweet? Savoury

What do you pack on a picnic? Here in Provence we love simple and tasty summer picnics. My choice would be a beef terrine, fresh Provencal goat’s cheese and a fruit tart made with fruit from my orchard.

What is a big night out to you? With friends around a table

For a romantic meal, I would cook: Some fine green Provence asparagus, then a tender Bresse chicken stuffed with Brousse cheese and a red fruit Pavlova for dessert…

What are the top 5 ingredients in your kitchen: Olive oil, salt, ground pepper, fresh tomatoes and basil

What do you always pick up at the farmers market: Seasonal produce – but we also have our own kitchen garden that grows in pace with the seasons. Budding chefs can hop over to “La Bastide des Saveurs” for one of my cookery classes!

One utensil you can’t live without: An iron stewing pot

Where does your inspiration come from? My homeland Provence and the Mediterranean

What is your top cooking tip? If you want to avoid difficulties digesting garlic, you have to blanch it 3 times. You’ll see, it really works!

Which cuisine do you find most exciting? Ligurian cuisine from Italy

Favourite travel destination? Italy – it’s a place I really love

Best travel moment? An amazing stay in Havana, Cuba

What would you take with you on a deserted island? The cookery book my family gave me on Hostellerie Bérard’s 30th anniversary. It was so moving!

What makes you laugh? The fun and friendly exchanges we have in the kitchen during my cookery classes. We laugh a lot at La Bastide des Saveurs!

What motivates you? The changing seasons and new produce they bring. I have a great job – no routine, just passion!

What advice would you give home chefs? Stay humble and pay attention to cooking times and seasoning. And continue to love cooking of course!