Chef 's portrait Noël Bérard

 
 
 

Over the course of his career at renowned establishments in France and high-profile restaurants overseas, he has developed a contemporary style, both rooted and attentive. We spoke with Noël Bérard, Chef at Le Domaine de Capelongue.

“More spontaneity is needed. Openness too.”
What are your inspirations?
What are your inspirations?

The terroir! It marks the passing of each season. From the asparagus of Villelaure to truffles from the market of Carpentras, lambs from Sisteron, trout from La Sorgue, and our home-made olive oil… There are many fine local ingredients available, to be prepared with care, without rushing them. I usually do this directly in the frying pan or in the gentle heat at the side of the oven.

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A traditional approach?

Partly, yes. Our ancestors would cook using whatever the surrounding land gave them. This common sense is what is called for today. In this respect, my time at Les Crayères de Reims, working alongside Philippe Mille, and at Le Domaine de Capelongue, with Édouard Loubet, have been very useful. The times we live in also call for a form of modesty. In my view, the time of dishes that are a work of art, with a cold, icy beauty, are over. More spontaneity is needed. Openness too. This is a lesson I learnt from my five years in Hong Kong, working at Michelin-starred establishments. I'm not talking about fusion, of course, but unconventional touches: a grated carrot with bottarga here; cinnamon shortbread on a candied melon there...