Stéphane Pitré fell in love with cooking at the tender age of 12: this Breton native from the Rennes region was captivated as he watched his mother preparing meals. Once he graduated, he decided to travel to perfect his training; he spent a few years in London, notably at the Ritz, then returned to Paris where he assisted Jérôme Banctel at the Senderens restaurant. His first chef post was at the Metropolitan in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, and he later opened Louis, an intimate restaurant where the chef serves up cuisine inspired by his roots and his travels, with consistently elegant dishes.

What kind of cook are you ? Tell me about your background
Stéphane Pitré :

My cooking has been described as creative. I like to let myself be carried away by the product; it is the products that lead the recipe. I imagine that my background also influence my cooking. I was born in Brittany, in the Rennes region. I became passionate about cooking very early on: by the age of 12, I was already very drawn to it. I admired my mother when she prepared meals for us; I remember the flavours, the moments we shared and the comfort they brought us. Today, these are very important memories for me.

At what age did it all come together ?
Stéphane Pitré :

At 14, I worked every weekend in a traditional restaurant in Brittany; I loved the time I spent there, and this experience confirmed my decision to become a chef. Once I graduated, I wanted to travel: I worked at the Estaminet restaurant in London, then in Martinique, before returning to London as sous-chef at the Palace Le Ritz.

And when does Paris come in ?
Stéphane Pitré :

I took my first position in Paris in 2007 at the restaurant Chez Cécile, where I was awarded a gourmet bib from the Michelin guide. Then, I joined Jérôme Banctel as sous-chef at Place de la Madeleine, in the restaurant Le Senderens, which has two stars in the Michelin guide. In 2011, I took my first job as a chef at the restaurant in Le Métropolitan Hotel. It was there, between 2011 and 2015, that I gained recognition and began to express my cooking style.

When did you feel you'd made it ?
Stéphane Pitré :

In September 2014, Gault & Millau magazine awarded me the Young Talent Award. This was a real privilege for me, which above all gave me the chance to open my first restaurant. After a few months of work, we opened LOUIS in September 2017, in rue de la Victoire in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. There, I received my first award by the magazine Gault & Millau, who gave me a score of 15/20 and 3 toques. The Holy Grail arrived on 21 January 2019 with our first star in the Michelin guide.

What role does butter play in kithen's day-to-day ?
Stéphane Pitré :

We use it to make sauces and brown butter, in pastries, in madeleines for example, as well as to glaze vegetables before serving, to bind them and make them more luxurious, but especially because it is a wonderful flavour enhancer.

Does butter work in all cuisines in the world ?
Stéphane Pitré :

I am convinced that it could be used in every kitchen in the world because it does not distort a dish, but rather reinforces and anchors flavours.

Is there a trick or a secret for cooking with butter ?
Stéphane Pitré :

When cooking fish or vegetables in frothy butter, remember to regularly remove it from the pan or saucepan as it browns, and add fresh butter until you have finished cooking.