The La Rochelle chef, honoured with a third Michelin star in 2020, and passionate about the sea and a sailor since childhood, is a fervent advocate of sustainable fishing and zero-waste cuisine. Every morning at the fish auction, this “chef-fisherman” carefully selects only the finest produce from local, artisanal fishing: seafood, shellfish and line-caught fish and places his highest priority on strictly respecting the sea’s seasons by excluding threatened species and those in their breeding period from his menu. Cuisine… from-the-ocean-to-the-table.
The chef, who has forever observed respectful fishing practices, sails off on his rigid inflatable boat as often as he can. Today, through his profession and his passion, he is deeply committed to making people aware of the need to preserve marine resources. Christopher Coutanceau works hand-in-hand with a wide range of associations such as Ré Nature Environnement.
As a campaigner for artisanal fishing, he played a proactive role alongside the NGO Bloom to ban deep-sea trawling and electric pulse fishing in Europe. When the 2019 Michelin Guide was published, the year before their third star, the chef was honoured with Michelin’s Sustainable Gastronomy award, a world-first for the ‘red guide’.
“In a way, it has forged me and it is part of my daily life. I just love exploring every nook and cranny, learning about the different species of fish, shellfish and coral that exist here in my region. It’s also vital for me to advocate sustainable fishing and to be committed to protecting the oceans and marine life.That makes me feel alive…. Here my mind switches off. This ever-so relaxing, ever-so deep blue and this incredible nature just make me feel alive and happy.
My grandfather, André Coutanceau, taught me everything. This man who I loved and admired passed his passion for fishing and observing the sea on to me. When we’d come home from fishing, my grandmother Guiguitte would cook our catch of the day like a great chef: fish, seafood and shellfish. Actually, I’d award her 3 stars! And that's why I wanted to become a great chef and a real fisherman. It’s because of my past, my family and all the love they showered on me. In my daily life, the sea and fishing inspire great respect in me for natural resources, these raw materials which make this magical place a priceless treasure. I enjoy leaving early in the morning, exploring the seabed, fishing “by the book” as we say, and catching just what is needed for so that these sea delicacies can be tasted and shared. It’s is an incredible source of expression into which I delve daily to offer only the best through my cuisine. In turn I love passing on this culture to my team and especially to our guests, who have gifted me with the luxury to live my two passions: cooking and fishing.”
Plage de la Concurrence, 17000 La Rochelle
05 46 41 48 19