If the Villeneuvois event does not welcome as many chefs as its colleagues, Les Étoiles de Mougins or Les Gourmand’Eze, we cannot take away from the organizers the talent to find sponsors who are usually very discreet on the culinary scene.
After Bruno Oger last year, Bruno Cirino, the chef of the Hostellerie Jérôme in La Turbie and his two stars in the Michelin Guide will be the conductor of a gourmet and tasty score.
You are a very discreet chef, why did you agree to be the patron of the Fêtes Gourmandes?
To pay tribute to this great French chef. I am a pure Escoffier baby, for a long time I only did Escoffier, especially when I started in Evian. In 1979, I won the Auguste Escoffier Trophy (…) I like to present this classic cuisine that thrills me.
What do you owe Auguste Escoffier?
Lots of stuff. Every day, we keep what he left us: the organization of the kitchen, the organization of the brigade, his work on cleanliness and hygiene. When I started, it was compulsory for each young person to arrive in the establishment with his case of knives and his repertoire of Gringoire and Saunier cuisine, two students of Escoffier. The Escoffier guide is essential; from time to time, I enjoy reading it again.
Will we one day be able to codify Bruno Cirino’s cuisine?
My cooking is an instinctive cooking; I usually say that at home the season lasts one day. The product that I am going to buy today will not be the same tomorrow but it is still based on the Escoffier bases. One cannot create without having a solid classical foundation. I always use fire, I like to control the flame.
Escoffier is also a certain idea of great French cuisine, how do you see it evolving?
There are difficulties and we have to adapt, in particular to the lack of personnel. The important thing is to keep the quality so that the customer finds emotions when he comes to us. I remain optimistic because I believe that there will always be cooks who will be there early in the morning and late at night to bring happiness to people. When I get up in the morning, I think about cooking, when I go to bed, I think about cooking.
Tomorrow, at 11 am, you will present your recipe “Stuffed sardines, chard and blood”. What does Escoffier have in this recipe?
It is a nod to Auguste Escoffier in the fact that it can be prepared in advance for many guests. Afterwards, where am I and who am I? I’m in Provence so I’m going to talk about the terroir with chard, olive oil, blood. I’m Bruno Cirino so I’m going to work on the textures, the flavors, the final taste. It can be done at home without any problem and it is not very expensive.
For the pleasure of the senses: the program offers chef-artist duos. Tomorrow at 11 a.m.: Praise of virtuosity, with Bruno Cirino and musician Liza Kerob; at 2:30 p.m.: Inspiration, with Mathieu Meyran-Christophe Oliver and the painter César Malfi; at 3:45 p.m.: Nothing is immutable, with starred chef Yoric Tièche and musicians Franck Taschini & Le Spiral Trio; at 5 p.m. with the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Jean-Claude Brugel and the musicians Flavie Nicolas – Eliot Woolley.
Sunday: An air of Italy, with Chiara Bianchi and opera singer Marie-Caroline Kfoury and harpist Mutsoko Uematsu; at 2:30 p.m.: To our standards, with Guillaume Tran-Tu and the musicians Kong of blue trio; at 3:30 p.m.: Always reinvent yourself, with Benjamin Bourgoin and the group UPto 5; at 4:30 p.m.: Creative requirementwith starred chef Nicolas Thomas and singer André.
To learn: the festival offers many workshops (15 euros). Saturday, at 11 a.m. with David Graziani; at 3:30 p.m. with Umberto Castellana; at 11 a.m. with Géraldine Coullaud-Boudy; at 4 p.m. with Eric Fort. And workshops for children from three years old.
To (re)discover the Escoffier Museum: his exhibition Auguste Escoffier a humanistits culinary demonstrations, its stroll.