Chef 's portrait Julien Serry

 
 
 

Julien Serry preferred roadside restaurants to luxury city-centre eateries. He enjoys the more direct relations with both the teams and guests, plus loves the produce. He explains…

“I didn't have a lot in common with the big brigade’s at Paris’s grand eateries. I wanted a more family-friendly, intimate feel…”
Where did your passion for cookery begin?
Where did your passion for cookery begin?

It was pretty standard. My grandmother, who was from the Auvergne, was a fine cook, I wanted to run around all the time, but eat well, too. To cut a long story short, I started studying to be a chef in Paris aged 16.

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What do you remember about your early experiences?

That I wanted to leave! Paris’s grand eateries weren’t for me. I wasn’t won over by my years spent at Westin Paris and Prince de Galles. I was more interested in smaller, more family-friendly restaurants.

Where has your career taken you?

In Paris, Candelaria, Gravity Bar and Sur Mer gave me a fresh start. More flexible menus, contemporary cuisine, seasonal produce, and other gastronomic cultures, etc. In Arles, at Le Chardon, I was blown away again: close ties with local producers are possible, from choosing the varieties planted to harvesting them together. It was unthinkable to go back to the capital. But then came Le Moulin de Lourmarin…

Absolutely, so what do you want to do now?

To make what I can with local, seasonal produce. So little meat or even fish, but plenty of vegetables and fruit, inspired by both Provence’s culinary traditions and ideas from further afield. Like a simple pistou soup, made from tomatoes, cranberry beans, courgettes, and basil, which are all local, or fresh gnocchi with Luberon almond pesto and charcoal-cooked cuttlefish…