Matthieu Garrel at ‘Le Belisaire’
Matthieu Garrel was born in 1971 in Brittany. After gaining qualifications in catering, he left for England, working first in a 3-star London restaurant and then in the first English “Relais et Chateaux” approved establishment. This early adventure, as well as improving his English language skills, taught him the importance of attention to detail, high standards, team work and how to listen to and learn from his colleagues.
After completing his military service, he returned home to Brittany to work with Jean-Pierre Crouzil in Plancoet where he developed his organisational skills and could appreciate the value of other people’s input, both lessons he still applies on a daily basis with his current team.
1994 found him in Paris with Gerard Besson, one of the “best artisan chefs in France”, then at Potel & Chabot and the Pays de l’Est restaurants where he received training in management, cost control and work planning.
In 1996, Gerard Besson invited him back as chef de cuisine at Yachts de Paris. With this added experience, he felt ready to start up his own business.
He opened Le Bélisaire in the 15th arrondissement in 2001. His philosophy was to offer high quality, bistro style cuisine, based on technical precision, creativity and authentic products – all at the best possible price.
It paid off. Glowing reviews from his customers and in good food guides bear testament to his talent, also acknowledged by his peers in the restaurant trade, culminating in Master Chef of France status which he received in 2014.
“You can’t have great cuisine without great products. This Label Rouge Scottish salmon reminds me of those we used to eat at home 15 or 20 years ago when salmon was a rare treat, only served on special occasions. You can see and you can smell that it is a fish produced with care – its delicate colour, pleasant texture and subtle aroma of the sea are just like those of salmon in the good old days. It retains all its juices when cooked and that is a sign of top quality fish!
It’s ideal for serving raw or lightly cooked, which brings out the best of its flavour.
Label Rouge Scottish salmon with goat’s cheese stuffing:
- Preparation: 15 min
- Cooking: 20 min
- Difficulty: medium
- Serves 4
- 4 Label Rouge Scottish salmon portions – skin on (c. 180g)
- 4 x 40g pieces goat’s cheese
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 100ml olive oil
- 20g butter
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 250g new potatoes
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Using the knife point, cut a pocket into the salmon portion, approx. 5-6cm deep and stuff with pieces of goat’s cheese. Season and keep cool.
- Scrape and wash the potatoes and cut in half
- Put the potatoes, pinch of salt and rosemary sprig into a pan of water, bring to the boil and cook lightly so they are still crunchy. Drain
- Put 50ml olive oil and 10g butter in a pan and brown the potatoes, cut side down, with the crushed garlic and thyme. Once they are golden, pour in water to 2mm height, cover and leave to finish cooking
- In a second pan, cook the salmon with the remaining olive oil and melted butter beginning with skin side down. Season. Once the skin is well coloured, turn over. Finish cooking in the oven at 180°C for 6-7 mins.
Arrange the potatoes on a plate and add the fish. Decorate with a swirl of sauce vierge.