Chef interviews

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Thank you

Philippe Mille

Interviewed August 2014

Q How long have you been cooking professionally?

A. I think that my first work in this field was 20 years ago.


Q. Where did you train to cook?

My first job was in the south of France with Chef Gauthier, a important Chef in my professional life! For my second one, I was accepted in the Bordier Team for 2 years.  It was an incredible experience and after that, I decided to discover Paris and its beautiful restaurant… My first place in this city was in Drouant Restaurant in the Grondard team.  In 1998, Chef Anton called me to work with him in “Le Pre Catelan”. These big houses were really important in my career, and really educative. After That, Chef Roth and then, Chef Alleno trusted me, and let me grow up during several years. In 2009, The Chef place in Domaine Les Crayères was proposed to me and was the beginning of this incredible story in Champagne !


Q.  How would you describe your style of cooking?

A.  My style is based on French cuisine basics which are taste and respect of products. It is a simple cooking but not simplistic cooking, refined, with a focus on the essentials.


Q.  Do you have a "signature dish" or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?

A.  I have no favourite dish, but one of my plates really intrigues clients when they discover it, and I love it :  smoked haddock and Gambéronis of Palamos, Apples cooked with local saffron, Creamy with the shoots of wild fennel.


Q.  Do you have a favourite ingredient?

A. It is the same thing. I like all ingredients and love cook with all of them. But one interests me more of others: beetroot. This vegetable offers lot of possibilities and is an invitation to creativity.


Q.  Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off? 

A. There are two restaurants in Paris where  I  like to go: "Chez Monsieur" and "Pirouette" in Paris.


Q.  What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?

A. My most unusual test was to eat fried fish scales, in Asia. It was really strange but really interesting !


Q.  What would be your "last request" dish? 

A. I think, it would be a Paris/Brest dessert.


Q.  Is there another chef that you most admire? 

A. My relation with Chef Gauthier in Biarritz is really strong. I admire his work and his personality.


Q.  Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?  

A. When you want to become a Chef, you need to have lot of qualities. But the most important is rigour. 

Q.  Any final thoughts you'd like to share e.g. new developments at the restaurant?

A. When you work in a such house, you always have lot of ideas for development ! But all of them stay secret for the moment !