Chef's portrait José Bailly


From Plougasnou in Bretagne to Saint-Raphaël on the Riviera, José Bailly's career is a family affair. Portrait of the chef of Les Roches Rouges, Le Fitz Roy and Le Val Thorens.

"My gastronomy? Personal stories".
Where did your passion for cookery begin?
Where did your passion for cookery begin?

By chance. When I was younger, near Morlaix, I was blossoming in another direction. Two even. On the one hand, my studies in building construction, in order to enter a school of architecture. On the other, ice hockey, in the national team. The death of my stepfather changed everything: at 15, I had to work. I had to work on building sites, harvesting, sorting oysters... Until I heard that a restaurant in my village was looking for an apprentice. The aesthetics and technique required spoke to me. I decided to go for it...

Where has your career taken you?

I could list the names of the Chefs I met and their vision of the profession one by one. But that's not the main thing. For me, what I remember most are the summers spent lifting nets for my fishermen uncles, the sowing and picking in my grandfather's vegetable garden, the rigour and respect for others during my military career, my exchanges with Anthony Bisquerra of L'Alpaga... This experience and its reminiscences nourish my cooking. The fact that these people can recognise themselves in my dishes and be proud of me carries me forward every day.