- La Chef
COOKING WITH FLOWERS
In the first volume of In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust describes the evocative power of a smell: "But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection."
The mimosa flower is my personal equivalent of Proust's madeleine. I still remember the smell of the armfuls of mimosas customers would bring my mother every year in February, which permeated the restaurant and heralded the start of spring. It was a magical floral, honeyed, almondy fragrance with green notes, and it's this memory that guided the development of this dish.
Kid is a sophisticated and delicate meat, and in Drôme it is typically served with sorrel and eaten at Easter time. However, instead of the sourness of sorrel, I prefer the floral and slight bittersweet flavour achieved by combining mimosa, black genepi, beeswax and Corsican maquis honey. This pairing plays on the complementarity between the extremely aromatic and floral mimosa and the very grassy, plant-like black genepi. Beeswax has a honeyed side without the sugar, and also exudes floral notes. When this is married with bitter maquis honey, it catalyses the flavours to make them explode in your mouth.
Colour plays a very important role in my creations; it needs to tell the story of the dish in a different way. The arrival of springtime and the mimosa conjure up images of the first buds of the year, and the warmth of a still-timid sun. I designed my dish based on these greens and golds. A pure green broccoli purée with mimosa oil - sleek, smooth and decorated with little shoots - forms the cradle for the kid. The golden yellow of the mimosa-flavoured sauce lights up this stroll in the field. I hope it will trigger happy childhood memories for you as it does me.