Interview with Chef Herault at Gastronomic Retreat in the Quercy

November 23, 2020  |  By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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Situated in the southwest of France, the region of Quercy is a fertile land known for its hilltop villages, limestone cliffs, fruits — particularly melons and prunes, and duck dishes. Learn more about the gastronomy of this beautiful area with Chef Herault, of our Quercy France cooking vacation. Here, the chef talks about his favorite foods and why you should come visit him in France!

See all our culinary vacations in France.

What is your first memory of cooking?
As I have an uncle, a grandfather and a father who were/are Pastry Chefs, it was somehow an evidence that my professional life has been traced ahead of time. My apprenticeship in 1978 happened to be with a chef extremely authority but fair; he knew how to give me a chance and he has been an excellent teacher.

Where or from whom did you learn about cooking?
I have done my apprenticeship in the center of France in a country hotel restaurant.

What is your favorite ingredient or food to cook with? Least favorite?
I love working vegetables, invent mixtures but still respecting the product and to surprise our guests. I love preparing a dish and “decorate” it with a multitude of vegetable from our organic garden, especially with “long forgotten” vegetable! The least favorite products are meats like kidney, liver etc…

What’s your favorite dish? 
My favorite preparation is simple but what a treat: foie gras de canard.

Lunch outside in QuercyWhat is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting to cook?
My first advice would be not to burn the different steps and stay humble; a good chef doesn’t need to be a star!

Have any funny or embarrassing stories you’d like to share with clients of The International Kitchen?
A very delicate situation for a wedding. When the moment arrived to serve the wedding cake – it fell into pieces… in such a moment you’re alone in the whole world.

Why do you like teaching cooking classes? 
I like to create a relationship with many different people, while transmitting my passion for cooking to the students, it gives me a relaxing break to my every day work!

What’s unique about the food from your region? 
Our regional products turn around the duck and prunes… the link certain products with each other is very interesting!

Our France cooking vacation includes three nights in a chateau, three gastronomic dinners, a wine tasting, two hands-on cooking classes, and more.

By Liz Hall

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