Page 0032

32 LEGGETTFRANCE.COM

E

RIC GAVIGNET ALWAYS

wanted to be a chef.

"No one in my family

was a cook but from a

very young age it was

always my passion," he says.

"42 years later I still love it!"

And what a career he has

had - some of the restaurants

where he mastered his craft are

names with which to conjure

- gastronomically speaking of

course!

Today he is installed in the

magical Le Relais du Château at

Chalais in the Poitou-Charentes

where he has already created an

enviable reputation in the art of

haute cuisine.

From the moment you cross

the drawbridge and enter the

grounds of the château, it's

simply magical. The restaurant,

which is set in what were once

the original kitchens of this 16th

century château, gets you at its

first 'hello'!

The château was once home

to the famed Talleyrand family,

and today is owned by a wellknown

French celebrity who is

gradually restoring it. An antiquarian as well

as entertainer,

everything is receiving meticulous attention.

Meticulous too is the attention Eric pays to the cuisine

served here. He started his career

with an apprenticeship in

his native Dijon, then worked in

the kitchens of a number of Michelin one-starred

restaurants

gradually working his way up

the culinary ladder in Burgundy

and Paris to the illustrious three

Michelin starred restaurants

Lasserre and La Tour d'Argent.

His career continued internationally as a private chef

to diplomats and later in Riyadh.

He modestly claims these jobs

came about by 'luck', however it

seems more likely his enviable

skills and growing reputation

were the reason he was welcomed

into such kitchens.

"I wanted to travel to Canada and Australia

so decided to

first go to London to learn English and went

to work for the

Roux Brothers at Le Gavroche

when it still held three Michelin

stars"

However, despite his dreams

of travelling worldwide, he says

"I got settled in England and was

very happy living there." He finished his

career as Executive

Head Chef for the Hilton Euston

- a demanding role to say the

least!

Retirement beckoned and a

return to his native France - this

time to the South West: but after

two years he was ready to return

to the culinary fray. In 2017 a

restaurateur from St. Emilion together

with a locally-based Danish entrepreneur

had bought

the old restaurant in Chalais and

started renovation - they were

introduced to Eric and the rest,

as they say, is history. Today

its once enviable reputation is

quickly being surpassed with

Eric at the helm of a dedicated

small team.

The food is divine. Eric ensures

only the very best produce

is selected and offers just

three choices for each of the

three courses. This wonderful

and affordable menu changes

with the seasons and as much

as possible is sourced locally.

Everything from the welcome to

silver service is executed with

understated elegance and all is

underlined by Eric's attention to

detail.

"I have been very lucky in

my career as I learned from the

best in the business with their

exacting standards. Perfection

is a prerequisite - from the

preparation, to cooking and presentation. All the chefs

I learned

from were very tough with no

second chances. It has to be first

class quality all the time. I think

that level of cuisine stays with

you always - and I learned from

the very best!"

His ambition? A Michelin

star of his own naturally - just

watch this space!

...we love the lifestyle, sunshine

and quality of the produce here...

1.

1. Noix de St. Jacques.

2. Foie gras and cheese straws

still warm from the oven.

3. Eric's small and dedicated

team prepare food to his

precise standards.

4. Le Relais du Château.

5. Smoked salmon with

tempura vegetables and

horseradish cream.

6. Charentais lamb.

7. The château drawbridge.

8. Delicious desserts.

9. Hake with seasonal vegetables.

10. Emmanuel Baugey (left)

and Michael Revenskjold,

the restaurant owners, are

pictured with chef Eric

Gavignet.

Le Relais du Château, 15 Rue

du Château, 16210 Chalais.

T: +33 05 45 98 12 08

Index

  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070
  71. Page 0071
  72. Page 0072
  73. Page 0073
  74. Page 0074
  75. Page 0075
  76. Page 0076
  77. Page 0077
  78. Page 0078
  79. Page 0079
  80. Page 0080
  81. Page 0081
  82. Page 0082
  83. Page 0083
  84. Page 0084
  85. Page 0085
  86. Page 0086
  87. Page 0087
  88. Page 0088
  89. Page 0089
  90. Page 0090
  91. Page 0091
  92. Page 0092
  93. Page 0093
  94. Page 0094
  95. Page 0095
  96. Page 0096
  97. Page 0097
  98. Page 0098
  99. Page 0099
  100. Page 0100
  101. Page 0101
  102. Page 0102
  103. Page 0103
  104. Page 0104
  105. Page 0105
  106. Page 0106
  107. Page 0107
  108. Page 0108
  109. Page 0109
  110. Page 0110
  111. Page 0111
  112. Page 0112
  113. Page 0113
  114. Page 0114
  115. Page 0115
  116. Page 0116

Related Issues