Christopher Coutanceau, chef from La Rochelle, talks about eating better on TV7 and sudouest.fr

The growing notoriety has not changed the habits of this Rochelais origin. The “restaurant fisherman”, as he defines himself, did not wait for the wave of short circuits to…

The growing notoriety has not changed the habits of this Rochelais origin. The “restaurant fisherman”, as he defines himself, did not wait for the wave of short circuits to favor local products, and make them a guarantee of quality. One of the topics discussed during the conference, organized by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Food Agency, “Sud Ouest” and TV7, in which he will participate alongside nutrition specialists on Wednesday June 15.

“It’s like a fridge, if you use it all the time without shopping, at some point it’s empty. The ocean is the same! »

At 43, this son of the starred Richard Coutanceau remembers coming to the auction for… Forty years. “I used to come with my grandfather, to Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez at the time. My parents were already at work. He would drop off the fish at the restaurant and I at school,” laughs the restaurateur as he inspects his morning order. The word is not too strong. Nothing is left to chance.

No to trawling

“The size of the fish is essential,” explains this eco-responsible fishing activist. “Not only for the preservation of the species _ it’s like a fridge, if you use it constantly without shopping, at some point it is empty. The ocean is the same!_ But also “for the quality of the flesh”, continues the cook.

A good reason to also say no to electric trawl fishing. “Bad for nature! If the fish is too damaged, it ends up as a product to feed farmed fish! “. A farmed fish obviously prohibited in his starred restaurant which no longer serves meat either, since 2017.

“The servers are our ambassadors, they explain to our customers why the dish is not available. He is convinced of this “the customer comes to get it, he comes for the pleasure of finding the best product while respecting the seasonality, the fishing method”. The staff in the dining room, under the direction of his partner, Nicolas Brossard, does pedagogy. “Fish is not an industrial product, it’s nature, it’s wild: the fishing may have been bad that day, the weather was not good…”


Christophe Coutanceau with his partner Nicolas Brossard, in charge of the room.

Olivier Roux/DR

The best products

And that also applies to consumers who cannot afford to sit at his table. “Anyone can find a good artisan fishmonger who does his job well. » For example, do not sell bass when it is full of eggs at the beginning of the year. “To preserve the species” again, “and in addition this fish will be fibrous, it will have no fat and therefore no taste”.

On the same subject

The Ocean, Christopher Coutanceau's other playground

The Ocean, Christopher Coutanceau’s other playground

He is the cook-fisherman, a true art of living that feeds his table and his story. Deep sea fishing, the 3-star chef Christopher Coutanceau approaches it with real values. The proof by the report off the Cotinière (17)

“At all the great chefs where I have worked, whether Robuchon or Guérard, they always tell you that to make the most beautiful dishes, you have to use the best products: we are not magicians”, develops modestly the one who has always paid tribute to its suppliers, putting them forward.

And that goes for all budgets. To make his demonstration, he catches a horse mackerel. “Everyone will tell you that it’s a fish for cats!” Yet it is excellent. And it doesn’t cost anything.” Less than 5 euros/kg that morning. “The problem is that it does not support cooking. But in carpaccio or tartare, it’s simply magical. In Japan, it is worth 160 euros per kilo. “Do we still need to know. A question of culture and education. One of the chief’s fights.

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