“Cooking was the pride of my grandmother, of Breton origin. She practiced a fairly bourgeois and elaborate cuisine, while being very intuitive, which she passed on to my mother and in which I was immersed throughout my childhood. It was fascinating to watch them do it, as they both cooked like nothing had happened, and everything was always cooked to perfection and impeccably seasoned. Among my favorite dishes, there was half-cooked foie gras with port and my grandmother’s couscous with fish: it was a real ceremony, with lots of little things on the table, each one more delicious than others.
My parents are physiotherapists, and, as I saw them happy, I initially thought about doing this job, but I quickly realized that I did not have the level in science. I did hypokhâgne, then a preparation course at the Atelier de Sèvres, an art school. I don’t draw particularly well, but, like my mother and my grandmother, I know how to improvise, invent, find solutions.
I wanted to do design, but not furniture, and I gradually understood that I was attracted to the culinary sphere, which had permeated me so much in childhood. Creations are fleeting, but they can reach a large number of people. I arrived in 2002 at the Higher School of Art and Design in Reims, very focused on fine arts and technical drawing, three years after the creation of the culinary branch by designer Marc Bretillot. Initially, it consisted of a single workshop, and gradually it became a discipline in its own right.
In 2006, I started working with the Manège de Reims, a national live performance scene. There, I created staging and in the mouth for one hundred and fifty guests, all kinds of performances, on themes linked to those of the shows. It was there that I undertook to mix sound, image and edible, and to work around the senses – which I also do today with brands like Hermès, which entrusts me with the artistic direction of major dinners, in collaboration with chefs such as Bertrand Grébaut or Sugio Yamaguchi.
During a meal, where video projections, sound creations and tasty dishes mingle, we tell the story of crossing Paris as the crow flies or the storm and the cloud on the plate. What I’m looking for is to transcribe landscapes through sensations, to generate the most complete emotion possible, around food. A moment of sensitive poetry.
Sometimes the magic can be done with just a little sugar, egg white and cream. Thus, pastry making is a way to express things easily, to cut out and shape landscapes in the material. Meringues with whipped cream is a dessert my grandmother made for me. A sweet madness, at the same time crunchy, brittle, sticky, soft, fresh and sweet … A touch of sweetness that reminds me of the snow-capped peaks of my childhood, the mountain where we often went to walk, to contemplate nature, to take the air cool heights. “
“Simmers”, at the MAIF Social Club, 37, rue de Turenne, Paris 3rd. Until January 29, 2022. maifsocialclub.fr