Born in Normandy, then spending 10 years each in Paris and Provence, Laurent has over 30 years of cooking experience under his belt. From 1992 Laurent has worked in 2-star and 1-star Michelin restaurants including: Jacques Cagna Paris, Beauvilliers Paris, La Pinède Saint Tropez and Maison Prunier Paris. Additionally, he has worked as a General Manager/ Executive Chef for Lenôtre in Qatar. After owning his own restaurant in Provence for 4 years, he moved to Australia in 2012, but not before living in California, USA in 2009, where he worked as a Corporate Chef. Upon arriving in Australia, he first settled in Melbourne and worked as a Head Chef. Falling in love with the Bittern countryside, Bistro La Provence is the result of this romance.
Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
“Working” in my father’s patisserie at the age of 8 inspired me to fulfil my aspirations of becoming a Chef.
How would you define your style?
I define my style as a traditionally trained French Chef, however, I have learnt and take pleasure in adding alternative flavours into my recipes.
What is your feature flavour these days?
Fresh, seasonal produce, locally sourced. I am all about supporting local community.
Obsessive compulsive about?
Quality food, professionalism and clean flavours. I want my customers to enjoy not only my recipes but also the personable experience Bistro La Provence offers.
Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:
Whilst working in a 2-star restaurant in Paris, Mr Prunier Gourmard inspired and set the tone for the way in which I prepare the food I create today.
What do you love about this business?
The relationships I build with my customers and ensuring their overall experience is enjoyable and one they want to share with friends and family. The gardens set the tone and as a gardener it is a pleasure to call Bistro La Provence my restaurant.
An ingredient you can’t live without?
All I can say is butter, cream and more butter and cream! With all seriousness though, the ingredient I could not live without is seafood. I love working with seafood.
Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?
I would have to say the Escargots à la Bourguignonne and Duck à l’orange.
If I am biased, I make a mean Mi-Cuit au Chocolat.