In his family “Lover of good food”, Ambroise Voreux, 24, is the only one to have made cooking his profession. Raised in Normandy, near Rouen, the young man accompanied his father every Friday to buy fresh fish on the docks of the ports on the coast. The search for good local products was established as a golden rule.
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When his sister moved to Switzerland, he visited her every summer. His father carefully prepared the trip, which turned into a culinary “roadtrip”, during which they performed “Enormous voluntary detours”. Every time he left he knew they were leaving for two or three days, “Stopping each time in a different region, interesting for its gastronomy”, who fed endless picnics.
He remembers a memorable stop at Serge Guidoux’s, at the Pêcherie d’Ouchy in Lausanne. “My father bought Féra du Léman, a super-fatty fish that we had grilled in the parking lot in front of the shop, accompanied by a good glass of white wine. “
“The fisherman’s sandwich”
Picnics happily punctuated his childhood. When he spent time with his maternal grandparents, on the banks of the Scie near Dieppe, he went trout fishing with his brother in the early morning. In their package, their mother added “A sandwich generously garnished with trout rillettes from Vouga, with good bakery bread, which we devoured without waiting at 10 am”.
He retains an emotional taste of these artisanal rillettes made in a fish farm with a flattering reputation, where he would have loved to take his first professional steps. But at the end of his schooling at the hotel school in Rouen, in the mid-2010s, he got an internship on the shores of Lake Geneva: “This is where Serge Guidoux told me about fish from the Loire, which I didn’t know anything about. I didn’t even know we could cook them. “
A committed and eco-responsible cuisine
While he imagined a career in «Restaurant and street food», he joined his father, who had just moved to Bourgueil, on the borders of the Pays de la Loire and Center-Val de Loire regions. It was in Bréhémont that the young chef found his alter ego in 2016, Romain Gadais, a former researcher at INRA who became a professional fisherman (1). He immediately fell in love with this small village, an unmissable stopover on the Loire à Vélo cycle route.
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On the shore of the river, where butterflies fly from wild grass to poppies, a year later they opened the restaurant La Cabane ligérienne, which offers flamboyant seasonal cuisine, combining fresh local vegetables, fine herbs produced on site and freshwater fish with white flesh, such as roach, barbel, chub or catfish, shunned by market stalls.
Ambroise composes every day with the fruit of Romain’s peaches, which radiates between Rigny-Ussé and Fondettes, near Tours. In his nets, it is very rare that he catches pike perch, pike, or eels, the most famous Loire fish. “We do with what the Loire gives us, which limits our capacity. And it is very well like that. At least we are sure that our card will not be the same as that of the neighbor ”, underlines the young chef, who returns from a few months in Japan, before confinement, to test Asian gastronomic techniques.
In addition to the restaurant, which runs at full speed from spring to autumn, Romain and Ambroise retail rillettes and homemade fish smokes, smoked beech meringues and muscadet – in organic conversion – produced by the brother and the father of Romain. So many ingredients for a picnic with your feet in the water.
The recipe: Freshwater fish rillettes
Twenty minutes are enough to make tasty “grandmother’s rillettes” to garnish sandwiches.
Choose roach fillets: two-thirds of fresh fish, “boneless” then crumbled with a fork and one-third of smoking.
When cooking, cover everything with melted butter and a dash of lemon juice, add garden herbs, 2 chopped fresh shallots and pepper.
As an accompaniment to this sandwich, Ambroise Voreux recommends a lentil salad with walnut oil, a strawberry and saffron rhubarb soup and a glass of dry and fruity Muscadet.