“Burgundy is a land of gastronomy because wherever there is wine, you have to face the plates and the recipes,” says the ambassador of the French art of living.
He is one of the greatest chefs in our region. He has worked for the Loiseau house for 40 years, leading his brigade in the famous two-star Bernard Loiseau relay “La Côte-d’Or” in Saulieu. Patrick Bertron was for 20 years the sous-chef of the very great Bernard Loiseau, he then became chef de cuisine for 20 years and now begins to pass on to the talented Blanche Loiseau (who is now demi-chef de partie at the Côte- Golden). Patrick Bertron worked on the program of the school of gastronomy “Ferrandi” and is also present in the permanent exhibition of the international city of gastronomy and wine.
A key figure in French cuisine and a full-fledged actor in the CIGV, the chef confided in us in this interview that we let you discover:
You worked on the Ferrandi school program, can you tell us about this experience?
The work that we have undertaken with the Ferrandi school to set up the program that the students will have to understand is a bit about our sensory universe. We are going to pass on to these young people “Why am I doing this cooking? », « Why do I look for products around me, in the Morvan, in the Côte-d’Or? “How do I implement them on the plate?” “. With all that, we are going to look for tastes and smells that we are going to add to the plate to enhance a product that is not necessarily present in our region.
We here in Saulieu, which was done for many years by Mr. Loiseau, we have people who do not necessarily come here to eat very locally. I have repeatedly tried the experience of having very local fish and in the end our customers want beautiful products that smell good of France. We therefore go to the sources a little further than Burgundy but each time endeavoring to bring a local touch. We worked on that with the Ferrandi school. When they go back home, to their country, it’s important that they do the same thing.
Why is it important to introduce the world of gastronomy to the general public?
It is important to introduce the world of gastronomy to the general public for the simple and good reason that it is cultural. It is cultural in France but also in most countries. We in France pushed it to the highest point. Gastronomy is excellence, it is the care given to every detail. When you go to the cabinetmaker he will try to understand your needs and make you a proposal and then he will work the wood, things that we will not even see but when we see his furniture we will say to ourselves “Whaou! » . You can go and buy your furniture ready in store, it will be good but it will not be personalized.
We, from an early age, are trained in the care that can be given to children’s meals, to meals in schools. Work with a percentage of local products. We also see “100% Côte-d’or”. In all these steps, it is something that we must put in place and learn from an early age. This is ultimately the definition of gastronomy. Asking people to make great products for us, it’s up to us to know how to work on them in detail and bring our taste sensitivity. When I create a recipe I try to find how I idealized it.
Sometimes we perceive these messages badly but when we build ourselves we realize that from an early age we are instilled with this. When there are weeks of taste, we go to schools to make young people understand what acidity, bitterness, etc. All of this means that we have trained these young people in what is gastronomy.
Gastronomy is not only buying expensive dishes, it is above all an immense pleasure. You have to know how to afford it and then you experience an instinctive satisfaction, very ephemeral but which remains engraved in our heads.
Is this city of gastronomy and wine setting up in our beautiful region good news?
Of course ! The arrival of the CIGV in our region is great news for our profession. For all tourism professions in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté because for me it will really bring in a gastronomic tourist, a tourist will come and discover the products. Our region is full of products, be it wine or cheese and emblematic recipes (egg in meurette, beef bourguignon, Gaston Gérard chicken, etc.) People will come first for this city which is opening but also to discover Dijon and when we discover Dijon we are going to discover the inns, the gourmet restaurants and I am convinced that they will come to Saulieu!
Burgundy is a land of high gastronomy?
Yes, of course, Burgundy (and Burgundy-Franche-Comté for that matter) is a land of gastronomy because wherever there is wine, you have to face the plates and the recipes. In Burgundy we have mushrooms, we have this nature which is generous, we have Charolaise farms or even magnificent cheeses. All this means that from there, gastronomy begins in inns, bistros, gourmet restaurants, large hotels…
Burgundy is a land of gastronomy because it is also a land of passage. We are on the Paris/Côte-d’Azur axis but also on the axis linking Switzerland to Paris. We see that people take their vehicle to travel but also to be able to stop. We are not far from Paris and we can stop here to stop and visit. We see it very well with all these gastronomic routes, the relays and castles that crisscross Burgundy. It is a strong attraction which of course leads to gastronomy.
The CIGV is a project that has been talked about for many years. What was your first impression and now that the project has come to fruition, how do you feel?
It’s true that we’ve been talking about it for several years and at first we wondered what it was going to be, we wondered if it wasn’t going to be a hindrance for our own establishments. Because obviously we would have restaurants that were going to set up in this place, but I think it’s going to be a vector that will attract people. Certainly tourists will come to see this place but they may not be able to find something that meets their expectations. They will come like any tourist to visit a place, a place and will surely want to come to other restaurants, delicatessens, they will discover cellars, patoisiez, chocolate factories….
I certainly believe that at the start this project could be scary because we said to ourselves that it was going to be a competitor and in addition it is a competitor that the institutions install. But I believe that it is precisely a benefit, it is a strength especially in this period where we have to rebuild things. We must rebuild tourism, even if French tourists are very present and to rediscover France and Burgundy. But when it opens up to foreigners it will be a real asset and I’m sure we’ll all be happy to have the Cité de la Gastronomie.
Interview by Manon Bollery
© Photos Manon Bollery