The cook has the same responsibility as a mother anywhere in the world: nourishing others in an appetizing and healthy way.
– Olivier Roellinger, former* chef/owner of three-Michelin-starred le Relais Gourmand, now chef/proprietor of Les Maisons de Bricourt, a 14-room Relais Gourmand establishment in the small Brittany port of Cancale.
In an interview with chef Roellinger, in which he was the guest chef at Cambridge’s Langdon Hall for a grand celebratory weekend for the organization’s 60th anniversary (in October of 2014), I had the chance to speak with the wise, and father-like figure about the significance of the brand and its role in hospitality. As the vice president of his nation’s Relais & Châteaux’s executive committee, Roellinger did share with me the past objectives and future directions (which I wrote about in the article linked below).
However, elaborating further on how those in the hospitality industry – and in particular Relais & Châteaux – can affect the world around them, the very kind chef shared his outlook as quoted above and below:
The world is a wonderful village, but you have to take the world, it’s yours. If the politicians don’t take the responsibility, maybe the chefs (not just cooks, but mothers, etc) should take responsibility for everyone. I think we’re going to start another movement. But other good movements: Slow Foods, MAD, LIMA, [are] all very nice,… but I think Relais & Châteaux is already well established around the world, and we are already doing it… So [now we are going] to extend this to the world.
Published: January 2015
Article on Vacay.ca: Q&A: Langdon Hall honours Relais & Châteaux
Video: What is Grand Cuisine?
* Roellinger turned those stars in when he closed the restaurant in 2008 because of personal health reasons. That story and more is recorded and transcribed in his inspiring MAD 4 talk found here: Watch Legendary French Chef Olivier Roellinger on the Potential of Today’s Chefs