Michel Devillers

How to resume the Chef Michel Devillers philosophy : the use of seasonal produce, quality and taste...

Michel Devillers:
He is absolutly inflexible on the quality of the produce he chooses in a scrupulous way. As a butcher’s son, grandson of vegetable growers and cousin of restaurant owner, he was introduced very early to gastronomic skills.

The beginning...

When he was 13, during his communion, he was captivated by the salmon “en Bellevue” served during the meal. So he decided to be a cook and to work fish with passion and humility. Every evening, after school, he ran to watch the team of the Hotel du Nord in Roye work under the kind eye of the Chef Jean-Jacques Lutz. The latter, touched by the obvious passion of this young boy, took him as an apprentice as soon as he was 16 and taught him the basics of the profession. The young Michel couldn’t dream of a better school since the place was wellknown for its cooking and also for its quality in the world of apprenticeship.
During 2 years, he learns all the skills and basis of cooking. He also acquires respect of quality of the produce, precision of the work and team spirit.
Eager to cross swords with the greatest, he begins a lightning route!

The acknowledgement...
He begins at the hotel of Ham (1* in the red guide) as a chef de partie in the department of the Aine. He then becomes a chef de partie of Lenôtre, at the Pré Catelan (**) in Paris. In 1982, at the age of 22, the Troisgros brothers (***) take him as a chef de partie in Roanne. There, he improves his style before becoming the Chef of Les Dents de la mer, a mythical restaurant in Nice where he stays for12 years.
Then he stands on his own two feet by taking the lead of the Ane rouge on Nice harbour.
With lots of work and personal, familial and financial investment, the restaurant becomes a famous stopping place at the side of the Mediterranean sea. Strict on quality, as demanding with his team and his suppliers as with himself…his reputation grows little by little without flaw. The gastronomes are not mistaken and share the address with delight.


His philosophy

Gastronomic cooking begins by respecting Nature and the gifts it offers.
In his restaurant, Michel Devillers never leaves his Larousse dictionary of seasonal produce which he must know by heart from consulting it so much.
Each produce is carefully chosen with regards to its season and its soil. And it makes all the difference!

The right produce at the right time...
An anecdote : Michel Devillers is able to see a vegetable grower to discover his 22 varieties of tomatoes and choose the one that will be prepared as a stuffed tomato or the one that suits perfectly for a mozarella tomato… In summary, excellence isn’t improvised. Everything has to do with flavour. Here we don’t go against the established order otherwise no flavour…and no salvation !