"Le Jardin de Berne*" Chef
"Nature is sovereign at Château de Berne and it's the cornerstone of my cuisine. Every day, the Château vegetable garden offers up new gifts that I strive to honour in my dishes. Our fresh produce is already as good as it gets – all I have to do is embellish it a little to obtain seasonal dishes that are as close as possible to nature."
For a nature lover like Louis, Château de Berne is a limitless, rich and inspiring playground. He started working at the Berne kitchen in April 2016 before taking over the helm in early 2020, and today expresses his boundless talent and creativity through simple and authentic cuisine that shines the spotlight on local produce and Provence's envied lifestyle.
Louis immediately fell in love with Château de Berne's natural charms and vowed to honour the wealth of organic local fruit and vegetables offered by the Château vegetable garden and orchards, given pride of place on the menu of "Le Jardin de Benjamin" in every season - a genuine back-to-nature experience that delights him and allows his creativity to run wild: Haut-Var saffron pistils adorn the plate one day, while Piedmont vinegar exalts flavours the next. "I try to do as well as nature and better if possible, but that tends to be complicated", he confesses with a broad smile. Louis' team vision of success and his unfailing respect for his people and produce form the beating heart of his cuisine.
"When I was little I wanted to be a train driver. At the end of the day, I'm not that far off. I aim to lead guests on a voyage with culinary pleasures as their destination."
Éric freely admits he's always wanted to work at Château de Berne. And in just a few years, he has forged himself a place of honour here as one of the Château's most inspired contributors. It only took him one season to be promoted to Pastry Chef in 2016 and prove that "everything is possible when you're willing to work for it".
From the very friendly "Le Bistrot" to the refined "Le Jardin de Berne*", Éric is a master of everything sweet and strives to honour the spirit of the site and its natural beauty. A lover of the local soil, he gives pride of place to homegrown produce and has also started growing some unusual citrus fruit of his own, including kaffir lime, finger lime and citron. He constantly pushes back the limits of his creativity and culinary ambitions – and those of the local producers. "Light on sugar and powerful in taste, my desserts are in pace with the seasons and our garden", explains this demanding Chef now at the head of a team of expert pâtissiers - not cooks, as Éric likes to point out. "It makes a huge difference to the final result", he adds with enthusiasm.
2020 marked an outstanding achievement for Éric, who swept up an award in the Michelin Guide's "Passion Desert" category.
"Le Bistrot" Chef
Chef Matthieu Wanlin has been heading up "Le Bistrot" since March 1st, 2017. Committed to handing down the emotions that forged his love of the profession, he pampers guests with generous and classic farm-to-table cuisine made for sharing.
He joined the Château de Berne teams in April 2016, bringing with him his very personal vision of gastronomy: "traditional and regional but spiked with exotic touches". Matthieu draws his inspiration from the heart of nature. He takes pride in honouring the produce he gathers every morning and is determined to fight against food wastage. "Nothing is lost, everything has a use", he professes with pride. His signature is also his gift for presentation: his dishes are a crescendo of fresh produce, dazzling colours and inspiring aromas. Some things are sacred at "Le Bistrot", whether it be the visual aspect of the dishes, the friendly atmosphere, quality of the dishes served, taste, value for money or the kitchen brigade. Character is everything...
He likes his bread pure – made with flour, salt, water and yeast to be precise - and defends his "ideology of good bread" with passion. Ludovic isn't just a run-of-the-mill baker: this genuine artisan fashions Château de Berne's bread and pastries every day and cultivates a taste for simple pleasures.
Trained by talented Companions, Ludovic is a happy and lucky man. "I'm really at my best here. I've got time to create and explore my profession to the full". He works with living produce, using only the finest raw ingredients. And he never stops reinventing himself. His creativity knows no bounds: his homemade sourdough bread with its slightly acidic taste is the perfect partner to the selection of cheeses served at "Le Jardin de Berne*". He's created a new bread too, made with grapes from the estate. His, two-tone, stuffed croissants testify to his abundant imagination. Day after day, he plays with natural leaven, a living organism that accompanies the dough and anticipates the whims of the flour. His gestures are precise, sharp and never mundane.
From breakfast to dinner at "Le Jardin de Berne*", Ludovic's breads beckon to foodies and dance with Chef Louis Rameau's daring dishes.