David Bizet, the Pole in the stars

It’s not far from midnight when David Bizet ends his service on Friday at the Peninsula, the luxury hotel whose kitchens he manages, near the Place de l’Etoile in Paris. The time to pick up his mate, to carry his little girl, who is already sleeping, to her baby seat, to open the trunk of his 4 x 4, to see his dog, Maïka, a thick-haired drahthaar, wisely sitting in the back, and there he is purring on the N12. completely abandoned. And he can finally breathe.

“Hunting or fishing means trying to understand the animal, relocating it in its environment. This is also what I try to do in the restaurant”, David Bizet, chef on the peninsula.

The 44-year-old chef is not available. Inside the peninsula, a palace as close as a village (34,000 square meters of space, 550 employees), he is responsible for the menus of Lili – a Cantonese restaurant –, the lobby, the roof terrace, the terrace Kléber and the bar Kléber.. But it is his two-star restaurant , L’Oiseau Blanc, one of the most luxurious gastronomic establishments in the capital, which requires the highest precision of piloting. Located on the sixth and top floor of the building, the restaurant sits in a glass nest above the rooftops, where customers treat themselves to a dizzying head-to-head view of the Eiffel Tower. Menu prices, from 95 euros for lunch and up to 890 euros for New Year’s Eve (excluding drinks), can also make you dizzy.

The first time David Bizet mentioned Perche and its influence on his work, we thought at first that it was a matter of simple language elements, so much is today agreed on anchoring cuisine in a terroir. And then the clear-eyed chef, usually kindly reserved, lit up when he mentioned Culoiseau chickens, a prime gallinaceous from his region that was pampered for 21 weeks, twice as long as a Label Rouge chicken… And we said to ourselves that to understand this marathon runner, black belt of sauces, first world champion – in 2016 – in hare à la royale, we had to cross the ring road and accompany him on his land.

Trout caught in the morning, hare from the neighboring field

This is how we find ourselves in the 4 x 4, which engulfs the kilometers on the national 12. The trembling panorama, green and gray shades, comes in valleys and plateaus bitten by frost, framed by small hedges beyond the age. “The Parisians who moved to Perche at the time of the imprisonment are beginning to return, notes David Bizet. They understood that the region could also be harsh, especially in winter. » He was born not far from there, in Mortagne-au-Perche (Orne), into a working-class family: a boilermaker father, a factory quality manager mother. His first culinary memories, in the family stoves, awaken a greedy smile: blanquettes, bourguignons simmered for hours, tongues in sauce, sautéed pork in cider… Simple, rustic delights, in direct contact with nature: trout tasted for lunch caught in the early morning by his grandfather, the hare in the stew, shot with a rifle shot in a nearby field.

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