Up the road and around the corner: the only ingredient in yesterday’s
menu that ‘travelled’ was the salt (Bretagne) – with the rising
consciousness that seeks to honour local and seasonal produce,
emphasis is on kilometres. I realise that my ‘creation’ which was
born from a desire to use what is available and abundant, already
represents this ethos.
The ‘plat principal’ was a truly regional dish – a transfrontalière
fusion from the Pyrénées Orientales and the Province de Girone:
A rabbit from Cerdagne (straight from the producer), marinated in
Sherry from Spain and local olive oil (Alt Empordà); stuffed with
the remains of a baguette from a nearby village (converted into
breadcrumbs), chestnuts from the forest, thyme and onion from
the garden, jamón Serrano and garlic from Spain; baked, and served
with an apple aïoli (Granny Smith, in season).
Rather than looking for a recipe and making sure we have the ingredients,
inspiration comes from what is already in the cupboard, cellar, fridge,
freezer, garden and forest, and an idea becomes tangible on a plate.
Harmony occurs when flavours and textures ‘marry’ and enhance each
other… confirming the ‘risk’ was worth it, as a new repertoire emerges.
Here, as Canigou wears a shroud of white, dominating the horizon, there
is only ever ‘discovery’ in response to the environment – a constant
questioning, and responses that can only come from ‘a life perched
on the side of the chain of mountains’ that straddle two countries
yet create a third: Pays Catalan.
Massif de Canigou, ‘Grand Site de France’ and sacred mountain for
the Catalan people – Canigò.