My dinner at the Chateau de la Cheneviere, In the heart of Normandy history, I was beyond exquisite. So when I found out Chef Didier Robin will have time to meet with me, I was ecstatic.
When you meet Chef Robin, you are not just meeting a trendy “farm to table” Chef. You are meeting with a Chef who represents a culinary history.
Chef Robin has been working at the restaurant of the Château de La Cheneviere, Le Botaniste, for the past 18 years.
When he arrived at the château he was a second de cuisine.
Of course, Chef Didier Robin started his career like most French chefs as an apprentice at 14 years old. He worked under Christopher Leroy in Saint-Tropez.
He then moved on to work in Paris at La Maison Blanche (Etoile Michelin), and later at the Marriott aux Champs-Elysees under Jean-Jacques Masse. Afterwards, he went to work in Normandy in Caen and then ended up at the Château de la Cheneviere.
The most wonderful part about working at the Château is the fact that he has total control of the menu, he knows what works, what sells and especially what is in season.
He works directly with the producteurs.
There is no better life for a chef than going to the port of the town and getting the fish directly from the fisherman. There is no better life for a chef than going to the market Wednesday morning and Saturday morning to go choose the local best products for the restaurant. It inspires creativity to be able to walk to the local market. It takes usually about an hour and a half to 2 hours to get everything he needs.
Chef has a line-up of 35 local artisans that provides him with fresh vegetables, fruits, charcuterie, oysters, fish and of course cheeses.
The cheese tray at the Château has some of the most impressive selections I have seen.
After the Chef and I finished our interview, he was so proud to walk me and show me the organic garden that is set up at the Château. Herbs, vegetables, fruits….it was a very impressive sight and I decided to take photos of Chef Robin there. You could tell it was this environment this incredible lifestyle to have everything “à portée de main” that makes him thrive as a creative chef.
If you are on vacation around the Château de La Cheneviere, make sure you visit and eat at the restaurant …and of course say a little hello from me to Chef Didier Robin. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.