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Reviews: Michel Guérard, prophet of the great healthy tables with his "slimming" kitchen

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  Michel Guérard, prophète des grandes tables saines avec sa cuisine © AFP

A soon 90 years old, chef Michel Guérard continues to promote "slimming" cuisine, his invention of the 70s which revolutionized world gastronomy And still influences plates that we want "healthy", even if we have no weight to lose.

Having a nutritionist in large restaurants has become commonplace and, serving more meat than vegetables with too rich sauces, we may pass for a "has been".

It is enough to look at the chiefs in vogue, sports and slender for the most part, to guess that they cook differently from a Fernand Point, first chef to obtain 3 Michelin stars in 1933, or from a Paul Bocuse, died in 2018 At the age of 91 and who loved butter, cream, wine and "not peas cut in four".

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"The elders told me about this joke: +you will eat at Guérard, don't forget your prescription +. We mocked it a little but it was he who was right. Just open any magazine, We are only talking about that today ", sums up for AFP Michel Sarran, one of his students who participated in a tribute to Michel Guérard at the end of November, organized by the ranking the list which lists the 1,000 best restaurants in world.

"If the kitchen was nobélisable, it would be our first Nobel Prize prize", underlines the Toulouse chef with the two Michelin macaroons.

well oriented

installed in 1974 at the thermal station of Eugénie-les-Bains (Sud-Ouest), Michel Guérard develops a tasty "slimming cuisine" which earned him the cover of Time Magazine, a first for a chef.

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"He introduced sobriety into gluttony by making cuisine non -punitive", underlines Guy Savoy, "best chef" in the world for the sixth time this year after the list.

A certain Alain Ducasse, today the most starred chef in the world, is then 18 years old and learned there. He makes a "slimming" cake of melting carrots in chervil.

Today, do these famous students live up to its "slimming" heritage? Michel Guérard believes that we can do better.

"They don't want and it's a mistake," he said to AFP. "I do not despair."

If the idea of ​​slimming is today "less highlighted" than those of the balance and quality of the product, the heritage of Guérard "still plays when talking about a lighter kitchen , healthy, vegetables, short sectors ", nuance Loïc Bienassis, food historian.

At 58 years old, Spanish Joan Roca, who has a 3 stars in Girona (northeast of Spain), elected twice the best restaurant in the world at 50 Best, confides to AFP having learned with "the kitchen Slimming ".

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He uses a nutritionist and a scientist so that his "hedonistic cuisine" is well digested, even if some customers only come once a year.

Christopher Coutanceau, 44, 3 stars in La Rochelle, says he "was well oriented" while he entered the 17 years at Guérard. "I don't see myself working much butter and cream working, we put less sugar in the desserts."

Gourmandise in complement

The French doubly starred French Daniel Boulud, installed in New York, remembers him the "avant-garde" salads of Guérard, at the time when we were not served many vegetables in high gastronomy.

"The biggest lesson is his creativity," he said.

The same goes for Arnaud Donckele, another disciple of Guérard with six stars, who learned "a certain freedom and a great lightness" ... in the figurative sense rather than in terms of nutritional value.

Author of the concept of "naturalness", which banish meat and minimally butter, Alain Ducasse argues that counting the calories does not interest him.

"Few calories, it is for a given period to regenerate the body and the mind, we cannot eat" so all the time.

and to recall that Michel Guérard had also published "La Cuisine Gourmande", "in addition, not in opposition", of his "slimming cuisine".

06/12/2022 05:45:04-Paris (AFP)-© 2022 AFP

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