Season and taste above all else!

Bistronomy, mixology, foodology... it’s all the rage, and why not? For Barrière though, cooking (right down to the basics) is "a progressive heritage".

When it comes to cooking, there’s only one set of rules to follow: don’t mistake a tea towel for a napkin, a cucumber for a steak, chilli pepper for vanilla….. don’t confuse trends with culinary basics. Julien Huel, Managing Director of F&B Operations for the Barrière group is categoric: "You need to stay consistent." According to him, innovating, "doesn’t mean turning the table upside down, it’s more about asserting yourself and what you feel, making your mark. Being and remaining true to yourself, whilst moving with the times; your times.

It’s true: theming has become very popular within the food service industry, as has choreographing the dining experience. "When it comes to mixology and bistronomy, for Barrière the barbecue at Courchevel’s B.Fire, the beachside appetisers at Cannes’ Majestic and Fouquet’s French classic brasserie dishes in Paris are a chance to taste the ‘here & now’. They’ve made a name for themselves as places where you know you will eat well, with chefs that are inventive and curious to try new things; the promise of a progressive heritage", continues Julien Huel, adding unequivocally that: "Taste and flavour are givens, which we need to be committed to." It’s all about creating that pleasant feeling of well-being, an appetite for eating well, making new discoveries, it’s about a state of mind and new styles of eating. Innovation is not a magic formula nor a fashion statement: "Gluten free and vegan diets are totally unrelated to any commercial strategy; they simply highlight personal obligation and choice", insists Julien Huel.  Not forgetting the rhythm of the seasons and their fruits, summing up simply: "Spring, summer, autumn and winter are friends that we visit every three months."

Understanding and taking advantage of the seasons is nothing new to Barrière. The weather is not only what we see on the television or online, it defines itself through the mist and haze over the land and fields, over the market gardener’s greenhouses…. in towns too, with the aim of coming up with something good and tasty, whether it be radishes, lettuce, sweet onions, gleaming carrots or potatoes in all their forms…. Food is a basic human need, to which Julien Huel adds: " and it’s up to us to make it something people crave and just can’t get enough of."

Food trends are: "moments of surprise and curiosity, to-ing and fro-ing." The act of cooking isn’t something you do looking over your shoulder at what’s gone before or what’s coming next, it’s about what makes for a tasty dish today. This is very much Barrière’s thinking when it comes up with its flavoursome foods of the moment.