Michelin-star chef Michel Perraud is being welcomed by The Old Vine pub in Cousley Wood at the end of this month as host of its special gourmet evenings. Landlord Ian Anderson tells Eileen Leahy what foodie fans can expect to feast on courtesy of Monsieur Perraud
WE met Michel Perraud when we moved to France in 2002. We lived there for 13 years, and during this time had a small farm and vineyard in the Dordogne which we developed into high-end holiday rental homes. Michel lived nearby and would often come and cook for our guests – despite being very much in demand with his private clients, for whom he would cook all over the world.
Michel, who hails from Brittany, became famous while working at the world-renowned Waterside Inn in Bray with Michel Roux, where he was Head Chef for six years during the 1980s. His modern-classical cuisine helped gain the restaurant its third Michelin star.
During the 1990s, Michel went on to garner further Michelin stars at Les Alouettes in Surrey and at his two Fleur De Sel restaurants in Surrey and West Sussex.
Over the years, Michel has achieved a number of distinctions and awards, which include winning first prize in the Mouton Cadet Competition and being crowned Chef des Chefs at the world famous Le Cordon Bleu cookery school.
He was one of the first chefs to achieve the much-coveted Master of the Culinary Arts, and also holds the title of Maître Cuisinier de France.
When my wife Sara and I decided to return to the UK in 2014, we fancied the idea of running a pub where we could use some of the skills we gained in France after meeting Michel. We took over The Old Vine in August 2015 and had a very simple goal: To be a good local pub that serves quality pub grub.
Fortunately for us, Michel agreed to come on board as our consultant chef. The first thing he wanted to do was spend a day in our kitchen.
Michel jumped straight in and started helping with the prep, and our Head Chef Matt was astounded that such a highly decorated Michelin-star chef was preparing veg in his kitchen!
Michel will also be hosting two sold-out gourmet evenings on March 29 and 30 where guests will be able to dine on delicacies such as scallops, langoustine, filet of bream and fois gras.
We hope people will join us – whether it’s for our gastronomic evenings or for a relaxed Sunday lunch – in order to enjoy a taste of the delicious cuisine we have created for our customers.
Our menus can be altered slightly to accommodate allergies and intolerances and booking is essential.
For more information on The Old Vine, Cousley Wood, call 01892 782271.