L’Oustau de Baumanière in Les Baux-de-Provence is a temple of prestigious and refined gastronomy, paying tribute to the fertile soil of Provence. A family story blending passion and tradition, upheld with sincerity by Jean-André Charial and his head chef Glenn Viel. Bon appétit!
Reach for the stars
A lifelong dream
Provencal lifestyle and “haute gastronomie”… A recipe for success illustrated to perfection by the beautiful little village of Les Baux-de-Provence and Domaine de Baumanière, whose story began in 1945 with Raymond Thuilier at its helm. A profoundly kind yet very demanding man, Raymond dedicated his life to Domaine de Baumière, moulding it into his ideal vision of natural elegance and simplicity and turning the hotel and restaurant alike into genuine institutions. His grandson Jean-André Charial has continued to develop the establishment’s hotel, spa, wine cellar, grounds and Michelin two-star L’Oustau de Baumanière eatery for many years now, while remaining loyal to Raymond’s founding values. Tucked away in the virgin hills of the Alpilles, the restaurant pampers foodies with a clever blend of passion and tradition. Its dishes are deeply rooted in this unique environment, even down to the fresh herbs grown in the domain’s organic kitchen garden.
Marrying authenticity and creativity
A dynamic duo of Michelin-starred chefs
Jean-André Charial worked alongside some of the world’s finest chefs (Troisgros in Roanne, Bocuse and more) before joining his grandfather at L’Oustau de Baumanière. He is now master of the domain. Ever-loyal to the secrets and spirit of this iconic establishment, the passionate Michelin-starred Chef spoke to us about his collaboration with Glenn Viel: “I’ve worked here for around fifty years, initially on my own then alongside the first chef in the years 2000. I decided to let him go and was looking for someone to replace him. I met Glenn Viel in March 2015. I asked him to keep some of the classics that had forged our reputation – the Alpilles roast lamb, Baumanière millefeuille and vegetable menu – but apart from that, I gave him carte blanche. He has a real talent for instilling every new dish he creates with the spirit of the house. He is talented, loyal and exceptionally dynamic: I liked him immediately and I’m prouder of our collaboration every day.”
Creativity, perfectionism and sincerity are the mantras of this star-spangled eatery. And of course, healthy local produce is top of the list too! The environment is a priority for Jean-André Charial: “I created Château Romanin – France’s first biodynamic wine – in 1987. Today, our objective is to work with organic, locally-sourced produce. We have our own organic kitchen garden, where genetically-modified plants and chemical fertilizers are banned. We also make our own compost and manage our own waste. Everything is designed to promote sustainable development. We also favour local partnerships to promote short circuits, and only use produce from Provence and the Mediterranean. Our fish comes from the market in Sète and our olive oil is obviously grown in Les Baux-de-Provence. Even our glasses are made by a crystal glass-maker in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It’s a mindset we cherish above and beyond the food itself – recently the Cécile Cayrol pottery workshop set up home at the domain and we now sell their products directly at our shop.”
The chef’s recipe : pea tartlet with a tangy carrot sauce!
Prepare the shortcrust pastry
300 g flour
250 g butter
3 g salt
2 g baking powder
2 cl water
Dice the butter and mix with the flour, form a well and add the baking powder, beaten egg, water and salt. Shape roughly into a ball. Knead, then shape into a smooth ball and leave to rest. Once the dough has rested, roll out, prepare strips to form the sides of the tartlets and cook between two pastry cutters at 160°C for 18 minutes approx. There is no bottom on this tart to avoid excess pastry.
Prepare the confit shallots
80 g shallots
1 stick thyme
10 cl olive oil
1 clove garlic
Peel and chop the shallots finely. Place the shallots, salt, thyme, garlic clove and olive oil in a pan. Cover the pan with cling film and bake in the oven at 80°C to make the confit. Put the confit through a strainer then divide into thirds. Blend two-thirds into a purée and chill the remaining third.
Prepare the peas
2 kg peas
16 cl olive oil
8 g salt
Shell the peas and separate the large and small peas. Cook the large peas in boiling salted water then plunge into iced water to cool.Cook the small peas in boiling salted water for 2 minutes then plunge into iced water to cool. Mix the large peas with the olive oil, then season and strain.
Prepare the diced carrots and carrot sauce
1 large carrot
8 cl vinegar
2 standard carrots
2 lemon juice
10 g butter
3 cl olive oil
Peel the two standard-size carrots and dice into squares the size of a pea. Blanch for 1 minute, then place the hot carrots in the vinegar. Peel the large carrot and extract the juice using a juicer. Reduce by half in a pan, then add the olive oil and butter. Add the lemon juice at the last minute. Season and place in a hot gravy boat.
Place the pastry rings on plates and garnish with the seasoned puréed peas, chopped shallots and shallot purée. Add the whole peas seasoned with mint, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the diced carrot and diced ham (optional) on top. Decorate with a lettuce leaf. Drizzle the plate with the sauce just before eating.
Treat yourself to a cookery class
Jean-André Charial and Chef Glenn Viel host a variety of cookery classes where you can learn all about their culinary tips and tricks and concoct delicious and prestigious recipes to impress your future dinner guests… Held on Saturdays and Sundays from 9-12 a.m., these group or individual classes are a mine of information and very warm and friendly – just like the man of the house! “I’ve actually been teaching people to cook for a very long time – at least 30 years. We work all morning then have lunch together. More recently we’ve extended our classes to pastry, baking and even oenology. Of course the themes are seasonal, just like our cooking. So, at the end of the year you’ll find lessons on the Christmas theme, then when Spring comes around we focus on things like peas and other seasonal vegetables.”