Example Landing Page
This is an example of a landing page for a Newsflash news item sent in a Flag List
VID: Worlds Best Fine-Dine Restaurant 3-M-Star Chefs Secrets
+++++ This is a T4-Hub Original (O) news item. That means that it meets the following basic criteria (https://fourthestatealliance.org/original-news/) +++++ This story is based on numerous news reports in French and English-speaking media regarding the Tripadvisor 2020 awards. Newsflash contacted the world’s best fine-dining restaurant for an in-depth interview with three-Michelin-star chef Gilles Goujon. The video is a Newsflash exclusive and all other content was provided by the restaurant with permission to use it. +++++
The thrice-bankrupt Auberge du Vieux Puits has now been awarded the title of ‘world’s best fine-dining restaurant’ by TripAdvisor and Newsflash has spoken to owner and three-Michelin-star chef Gilles Goujon in an exclusive interview.
The fine-dining maestro spilled the beans on his truffled egg infusion signature dish, and on how his father’s untimely death drove him to become one of the greatest chefs in the world, transforming an unassuming provincial inn from bankrupt eatery into a household name in the international gourmet scene.
He has also come up with a “COVID-19 menu” people can take home and eat, literally.
In late July, Mr Goujon’s tireless efforts an innovative spirit earned him an unexpected recognition: Tripadvisor’s 2020 Travellers’ Choice Award as the world’s best place to eat fine food.
The popular American travel and dining ranking website’s annual Travellers’ Choice Awards are based not on expert opinions, but on the feedback from thousands of eating customers. With the award, Auberge du Vieux Puits follows in the footsteps of a long list of world-renowned restaurants, such as The Black Swan at Oldstead, in the UK, which took home the fine-dining award in 2017 and was named best restaurant in the UK this year.
The French Laundry in Yountville, California, took the top spot for best fine-dining restaurant in the United States, beating famous New York restaurant and previous winner Daniel on the finishing line.
Asked why he thinks he won this year’s top prize, s given the award, 58-year old Mr Goujon, without skipping a beat, replied with a chuckle: “Because I’m a nice guy!”
Still wearing his chef’s clothes – which display the date ‘2010’, when he received his first Michelin star – as he had just come from the kitchen, Mr Goujon conceded that he actually thought it was a “prank” when he was first told of the award.
“I was very happy of course. And surprised,” he said.
Mr Goujon said that he considers the award recognition for all the “hard work undertaken by our whole team for years, right down to how to welcome potential customers on the phone. Each reservation takes at least five minutes to make.
“We ask lots of questions, where they are from, if they need directions, what allergies they might have, if there is any food they do not like. It is all about customising our welcome.
“When the customers arrive, we welcome them like friends. I really have a great, enthusiastic team by my side, who have followed me for years.”
He said that they had not let having three Michelin stars go to their head, and that they strove to always add a little humour and empathy to conversations. He said: “We pay special attention to kindness and to how we welcome people.”
The Auberge du Vieux Puits (the ‘Old Well Inn’) is named after a massive, 2-metre (6.56-foot) wide well located in Fontjoncouse, a tiny village in the Aude department in southern France, near the border with Spain.
In the kitchens, Mr Goujon takes pride in using “local produce”, in a bid to “stay close to our suppliers, who are often less than just a few kilometres away.”
He added: “I think that is why we won this award. When you look at the comments [on Tripadvisor], people are always very positive about their overall experience here.”
Speaking about how COVID-19 has affected his business, Mr Goujon said: “Our menu is currently very short. We also created something completely new.”
Because people are staying at home much more these days, he said: “We are the only ones, to my knowledge, to have created a ‘take-away menu’ that people can plant.”
Holding it up to the camera, it appears to be punctured with numerous tiny little holes. These are in fact seeds. Mr Goujon explained: “All the customer has to do is place this sheet of paper in the ground and water it, and they will be able to grow their own carrots, for example.”
Going back to the menu, Mr Goujon explained that while indeed short, there are still signature dishes that he prepares on demand, including his famous creations.
One of these is a red mullet fillet, which comes with “bonne bouche” potatoes stuffed with a ‘’bullinada’’ spring onion brandade, coated in a saffron foam.
Another signature dish by the illustrious chef is a “melanosporum truffle rotten ‘Carrus’ egg, on a puree of mushrooms and truffles, warm briochine and cappuccino to drink”. Mr Goujon explained that the ideal cooking temperature for an egg is 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit).
This, he said, was fortunate, because the ideal temperature at which a truffle releases its flavours is also 65 degrees. He said that the key to cooking eggs, especially scrambled eggs, is to do it very slowly.
That is why is ‘rotten egg’, he said, only has a very thin layer of white and when one plunges ones knife and fork into it, the black truffle fused with the yolk oozes out of it.
Mr Goujon said he tries to source as many ingredients as possible locally for his dishes, which each cost around 80 EUR (71.80 GBP). The Aude department being on the Mediterranean coast, this allows him to create dishes with local produce that include fish such as tuna, turbot, and amberjack.
Although he readily points out that if he is cooking something that requires langoustine, “here there aren’t that many, so we source it from Brittany.”
Mr Goujon says he also sources veal and lamb locally, adding that he believes his menu is a “fifty-fifty split between surf and turf.”
Asked how he would describe his profession, Mr Goujon replied: “For me, this is not a job, it is a passion. More than that, it’s an illness! It’s true!
“All my friends come and tell me I’m sick! When I go on holiday, I cook. During COVID [lockdown], I cooked for the elderly people in the village every day.”
He added: “I don’t really know how to do anything else. When I’m not cooking, I am miserable and I feel like something is missing.
“Yes, it is a job, but not for me. I don’t really have a preference when it comes to making food. As soon as a put a pot on the stove, that’s it, I’m in it! Time doesn’t matter anymore.
“You know, I often say, when I go into the kitchen, I’m like a gambling addict on a slot machine in a casino, who knows what time he went in, but who loses track once inside and doesn’t know what time it is when he comes back out. Well, I’m the same!
“A kitchen is roughly the same thing. I never know what time it is, I feel good, and I love it!”
Asked whether or not he had set up any particular COVID-19 measures, Mr Goujon chuckled and lifted his right arm to the camera, displaying a face mask dangling from his wrist.
He said: “Everyone in the kitchens have these. We have sanitising hand gel dispensers on the walls at all key locations on the premises. I even have an ozone water tap with which I wash the vegetables.
“In the rooms [of the inn], we also have ozone generators, for when we clean them, so it refreshes the air inside. I also bought a machine like you would find at a dry cleaners, to wrap things up and seal them.
“That way, the dressing gowns, the sponges, are wrapped up and come out of the laundry room that way, and they are delivered to the rooms still wrapped up.
“These are all additional measures we have undertaken voluntary, that are not obligatory but that we wanted to do.”
He added: “Everything is done so that the customers feel safe, so that our staff feel safe, and with a good atmosphere. We don’t want it to be something that scares people. Customers wear masks when they go to the toilet, but take them off when seated. It works well, they have sanitising hand gel on the table, we have sanitising hand wipes too.
“I also made my staff undergo a COVID-19 training course. A company came, and we all took part. They went over all the procedures regarding how to act and how to behave. We went back to the basics of hygiene, with, in addition, the new behaviours to adopt […].”
Asked how he became one of the world’s most renowned chefs, Mr Goujon, whose staff also speak both English and Spanish, said: “When I was 20 years old, I told my fiancee at the time – who is my wife now, so no problems there! -“
Marie-Christine, Mr Goujon’s wife, briefly appeared in the background and waved.
He resumed: “I said, you love me, I love you, it’s wonderful, but there is one thing you have to know. For me, there is only: cooking, cooking, cooking, cooking!
“The next 10 years are going to be tough, no relationship, no children, I want us to work together to have two coins to rub together, because we didn’t have any money.
“I want to be my own boss by the time I’m 30. I want to be the best in France and I want to have three Michelin stars.
“I didn’t tell her I wanted to be the best in the world. That is something I didn’t know! She said ‘let me think about it’ and then ‘OK’. And that’s how it all started.
“What brought us here to Fontjoncouse is that at 30 I said I wanted to be my own boss and we didn’t have any money. So we looked for a bankruptcy, and here we found that there had been three before us.
“Because I am superstitious, I knew that bad things happened in threes. So I said to myself that there was no problem and that we could go for it. But it was really hard. Five terrible years.
“When we got here, it was already called the Auberge du Vieux Puits. The big change is when we made it bigger. When we got here, there was a well but it was all covered up and Marie-Christine said it would be good if we uncovered it. I asked her why we would waste our time looking for a well. But when the woman wants, the man must oblige!”
He continued: “So we looked for this well. And it’s an extraordinary well. It is two metres wide, right in the middle of the salon, we covered it with glass and people can walk on it. It’s magnificent!”
After years of hard work, Mr Goujon said he was finally awarded his first Michelin star in 2010. Since then he has been awarded two more.
Asked what made him want to become a chef in the first place, he said: “I wasn’t very good at school. So I was very young when I told my mother I wanted to stop school and become an apprentice chef. It was moderately received by my mother!
“In my family, everyone had finished high school, and here I was decreeing that I wanted to quit after middle school and wasn’t interested in going to high school.
“I lost my father when I was 10. I was raised and educated by my mother. I had two sisters too and she found herself on her own raising three children. My mother, instead of saying ‘no way!’, and so as to avoid any family disputes, told me that if that was really what I wanted to do, then I should go to the job centre and go through the job postings there.”
Mr Goujon did precisely that and came upon three adverts displayed there. He “nicked” all three ads, pocketing them before leaving. He added: “I went home and told my mother: ‘Hey, look, I’ve found three ads’, to which she replied: ‘OK, make an appointment.'”
Mr Goujon says that he protested, that he did not know how, telling his mother that he was just 15. His mother was having none of it and told him that if he really wanted to become a chef, he first had to learn how to present himself. She left him to figure it out on his own, because she was a working single mother.
So he phoned, went to the job interviews in a suit and tie, on his own steam, and landed a job as a waiter. He then went on to work for a railway company called the ‘Chemins de fer du Midi’ as an apprentice in a train station restaurant in the city of Beziers. He was awarded the best apprentice in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon.
After that, Mr Goujon then said that his father was a fighter pilot in the French Air Force who died at the age of 37 and that his mother had told him, after he won the best apprentice prize, on the way home that evening, in the car, that “my father had wanted to become a chef when he was a young man but his parents stopped him from doing so.
“Can you imagine, for an 18-year-old kid, who idolises his father, the internal upheaval?
“I told myself, this is great! I was doing what my father had always wanted to do and I hadn’t even known that’s what he had wanted before I embarked on this myself. Wings sprouted out of my back. I don’t know how to explain it.
“I was already passionate, but on top of this I am told that my father would have wanted to do the same thing! His parents didn’t approve and instead he went to [the prestigious military academy] Saint-Cyr.”
In 1983, Gilles Goujon found a mentor in famous French chef Roger Verge, a three-Michelin-star chef of international renown once described by the French restaurant guide the Gault Millau as “the very incarnation of the great French chef for foreigners.” Mr Goujon became an assistant chef at his mentor’s restaurant, the Moulin de Mougins.
A few months later and he was in charge of the restaurant’s fish department. In 1987, he moved to Marseille and worked at Le Petit Nice, a restaurant run by two-Michelin-star chef Jean-Paul Passedat.
In 1989, he became the sous chef of Gerard Clor at the one-starred restaurant L’Escale in Carry-le-Rouet, where he worked for three years, helping the restaurant earn its second star.
In 1992, he moved to Fontjoncouse and started his own restaurant, buying up the bankrupt Auberge du Vieux Puits.
The Wikipedia entry for the village of Fontjoncouse, which boasts 131 souls, says that it “has gained a reputation in the culinary world, as it is the location of Gilles Goujon’s three-Michelin starred restaurant, L’Auberge du Vieux Puits.”
Only 137 restaurants in the world currently have three Michelin stars.
Video Copyright: Newsflash
Video Caption: VIDEO WITH SUBTITLES. General: The Auberge du Vieux Puits has been voted the world’s best fine-dining restaurant on TripAdvisor and Newsflash has spoken to owner and three-Michelin-star chef Gilles Goujon in an exclusive interview. Description: The Newsflash interview with Gilles Goujon. Notes: This content was filmed by Newsflash. (Newsflash)
Video Copyright: Newsflash
Video Caption: General: The Auberge du Vieux Puits has been voted the world’s best fine-dining restaurant on TripAdvisor and Newsflash has spoken to owner and three-Michelin-star chef Gilles Goujon in an exclusive interview. Description: The Newsflash interview with Gilles Goujon. Notes: This content was filmed by Newsflash. (Newsflash)
Byline Journalist: Joe Golder
Byline Sub editor: Joe Golder
Subject: Food / Drink, Restaurants
T4 Editor Story Rating: 8
T4 Editor Pic/Vid rating: 8
T4 Total rating: 8
Source Links: https://www.lepoint.fr/gastronomie/selon-tripadvisor-le-meilleur-restaurant-du-monde-est-dans-l-aude-02-08-2020-2386431_82.php