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#04 THE CHEF CHRISTOPHE DUFAU

CHRISTOPHE DUFAU

The gastronomic concept of ‘locavore’ means sourcing ingredients from your immediate surroundings, never going further afield than a radius of 250km for one’s kitchen produce, and keeping things seasonal, handpicked and local. This is the creative and responsible philosophy behind Michelin-starred restaurant Les Bacchanales in Vence, on the French Riviera, owned by chef Christophe Dufau.

Born in the idyllic village of Draguignan, close to St Tropez, Dufau always dreamed of owning a Côte d’Azur restaurant that would serve a discerning international clientele. ‘My first memories are of cooking with my grandmother,’ says Dufau. ‘She would come in from the garden having pulled herbs and vegetables from the ground, and create something wonderful from whatever she had collected.’ On a mission to replicate the halcyon days of his family kitchen, Dufau spends his spare time diving for seaweed, foraging for flowers and leaves in the country, or tending the 25-variety herb garden behind his restaurant.

The produce informs the creation of the chef’s beautifully minimal dishes, such as spicy crawfish and melon, grouper with apricot purée, and medlars with garden-fresh pink berries. Flavours are deceptively complex but never overly technical. ‘It’s my version of Nice cooking,’ he shrugs. ‘I like to keep things simple.’

As seen in Wallpaper*,
Photographer James Reeve

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#04 PORTFOLIO GALLERY

LOCAL HERO

‘Arriving at my kitchen with a basket full of freshly picked wild thyme is a great way to start the day’

CHRISTOPHE DUFAU

LOCAL CROP

Dufau’s kitchen inspirations include an early 20th-century cookbook and pastry cutters, as well as seaweed and clams which he collected from the beach.

DISCOVER THE TUDOR HERITAGE CHRONO BLUE

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#04 INSPIRATION GALLERY

05:00

Food Market

Every Friday I head for the food market in Nice to buy vegetables. It’s a very inspirational place because there is always something new to see, some new tastes and aromas to experience. The fruit and vegetables I buy help me to decide on the dishes that I will put on the menu at Les Bacchanales.

08:00

Foraging

‘I live close to a steep hill, Col de Vence, which rises to 1,000m above sea level,’ says Christophe Dufau. ‘I like to get up early and explore the woods and fields on the higher ground, foraging for flowers and herbs. Arriving at my kitchen with a basket full of freshly picked wild thyme is a great way to start the day.’

10:00

Kitchen

We start work in the kitchen. I can get inspiration for my dishes from all sorts of places. Art and nature, but also my wife’s work. She is a silversmith and sometimes, when I have finished in the kitchen, I go to her atelier to watch her work. I get new ideas for tableware, while the shapes and lines she creates often give me inspiration for the presentation of dishes.

15:00

CHAPEL

Dufau’s restaurant is next door to an art and architectural landmark, the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, otherwise known as the Matisse Chapel. ‘I am a huge fan of Mattisse so this is a great honour for me,’ he says. ‘If work is not going well and I am feeling low, I just walk into the chapel and stare at the work he did. It feels good to be close to such extraordinary creativity and I always find myself energised afterwards.’

17:00

Passion

I have three children and I love to spend my free time with them. We go for picnics or to the beach. Apart from cooking, my other passion is free-diving, for things like clams and sea fennel. The ocean is important to me – it is a part of me, even.

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#04 TUDOR TRUE BLUE

TUDOR CRAFT

Tudor’s reinterpreted ‘Heritage Chrono Blue’ (aka the Montecarlo) was shown at this year’s BaselWorld. First launched in 1973, it was only produced for a few years and the originals have become highly sought after by collectors. Featuring touches of blue, orange and grey, the new version comes with a choice of two straps – one in steel with a folding clasp, the other in reinforced fabric with a buckle.

DISCOVER THE TUDOR HERITAGE CHRONO BLUE

#05 THE GLASS ARTIST J. M. WINTREBERT

#06 THE PERFUMER BEN GORHAM

#07 THE JEWELLER JORDAN ASKILL

#08 THE ARTIST MIKE PERRY

#09 THE MIXOLOGIST MATT WHILEY

#10 THE FLORAL ARTIST AZUMA MAKOTO

#01 THE TAILOR PATRICK GRANT

#02 THE ENGINEER CHARLES MORGAN

#03 THE DESIGNER NITZAN COHEN