A family affair: Roland Gauthier, father of current chef-owner Alexandre, was the previous chef of La Grenouillère, a good country restaurant set in an old farm not far from Le Touquet in northern France. Gauthier Junior was thus born and bred in the restaurant and always knew he wanted to take over the family business. After a few years working in some of the best gourmet kitchens in France, he decided to return home in 2003 at the age of 24.
Opal Coast: Gauthier’s food focus is on the nearby coastline, the Côte d’Opale. From La Grenouillère’s spectacular open-kitchen restaurant, looking like a huge marquee in a forge setting with mesh curtains and steel hooks, the chef and his team present a bold and creative locavore cuisine, spiked with cheeky moments. Seafood and vegetables are treated and cooked like jewels, but the chef is not afraid to surprise with tripe products and the like.
What about wine? Expect a fantastic (and heavy) wine list with more than 500 references, including lots of natural and biodynamic wines from every region of France, as well as precious classic vintages.
Overnight stay: As the restaurant is at least a two-and-a-half-hour journey from Brussels, London or Paris, guests can sleep over in well-designed wooden huts in the grounds – and then enjoy a big local breakfast, face to face with nature.
In the neighbourhood: Check out Gauthier's various other local projects: Anecdote (modern brasserie), Grand’Place Café (bistro) and Froggy’s Tavern (rotisserie). His latest opening is Sur Mer, an affordable fish restaurant beside Merlimont beach.