March 2, 2022. Bordeaux, Chartrons district. We have an appointment with chef Philippe Etchebest in his new restaurant: Maison Nouvelle. To enter, ring the intercom. It is Rachel, his partner and his wife Dominique who welcome us “at home”. “We wanted to give the soul of a house“, explains the latter. From the entrance, we can see an imposing (and majestic) wooden staircase entirely designed and made by a Meilleur Ouvrier de France. By climbing the steps to reach his table, the visitor can linger on snapshots of the juror of Top chef : family portraits, travel photos with his wife and son or memories of him as a child.
An invitation to enter the world of the chef
In the kitchen, it’s the shot but calm reigns. Alongside his brigade, the chef gets down to the final preparations before the lunch service. Among the young heads of his team, we can distinguish a familiar face: Camille Maury, candidate who brilliantly won the 10th season of Top Chef objective in 2018. Let’s go for the site visit. What immediately marks: the omnipresence of wood, of trees. And for good reason : “It’s an old carpentry“, tells us the chef. “The knives are also made with wood that belonged to the former carpenter who worked here. I wanted to“, adds the Bordelais. The development of this project lasted four years. Philippe Etchebest wanted to completely invest himself in the smallest details of the decoration, and this, until the choice of paint. In the living room, which can accommodate up to 12 people, there are also some memories of the cook: boxing gloves, drum sticks, an AC/DC concert ticket but also travel souvenirs. world of the chef.
When tradition marvelously meets modernity
It’s time to sit down. The chef paid particular attention to the choice of dishes and worked with a ceramist: “each piece is unique”, he tells us. On the table, the silverware is engraved with his initials “PE”: “it’s like home, when we take out the service on Sunday“, he laughs, anxious to preserve the elegance of the French service. Celeriac beignet, runny heart with granny smith apple… The appetizer promises a tasty moment followed by the first starter: black truffle in salted toast, salad and light mashed potato/granny smith and truffle vinaigrette. It is now time to taste the chef’s signature dish: ravioli with mushrooms and pan-fried foie gras (a little marvel that the candidates will have the pleasure of tasting this Wednesday evening in Top Chef) served. It is beautifully Arranged on a plate that represents the veins of the cap of the mushroom.The first spoonful is an explosion in the mouth, it coats the palate and immediately brings back memories of mushroom picking.
Hard work rewarded with a star in the Michelin Guide
For the dish, the chef concocted Wagyu beef, served with a syrupy red cabbage sauce, made like a Bordelaise sauce. We end this divine meal with a chocolate note with a creamy chocolate smoked with almond wood (again the wood is present) and a maple syrup gel infused with passion berries. The little sorbet that accompanies the dessert is made with mucilage: this white pulp that nestles inside the cocoa pod. The taste, close to lychee, is quite surprising. Now is the time to leave the chef. We are sure of it: the star is for him. A few days later, on March 22, the verdict: Philippe Etchebest and his teams harvest after only three months of opening, a first star in the Michelin Guide. Hats off, boss!
Practical information :
New house: 11 rue Rodes 33000 Bordeaux
By phone on 05 33 09 46 90
7-course menu for €210.