Chef Christopher Coutanceau refers to himself as a “cuisinier-pêcheur,” or a fisherman cook, in reference to his enthusiasm for the superb fish and shellfish that arrive in this port town on France’s Atlantic coast on a daily basis. Coutanceau’s restaurant, La Rochelle, is located in the town of La Rochelle. He has been a regular at La Rochelle’s daily fish market, la criée, since he was three years old, and this year he was awarded the Michelin Guide’s first-ever award for gastronomie durable (sustainable gastronomy) in recognition of his dedication. ).
This is a reflection of his ardent defense of traditional fishing – as opposed to the destructive methods used by the factory-sized ships that now ply many of the world’s seas and which waste a large amount of everything they catch – and his anti-waste philosophy as a chef, both of which are exemplified by his use of sustainable seafood.
Given the fact that seafood is becoming an increasingly limited and endangered resource, Coutanceau thinks that every fish taken should be appreciated and consumed, and that vulnerable stocks should be allowed to recover. It is this mindset that is informed by the notion that eating wild seafood has become a privilege and a true luxury in today’s society. (An increasing proportion of the fish served at many restaurants is farmed.)
La Rochelle is home to Coutanceau’s namesake Michelin two-star restaurant, as well as his informal seafood café La Yole de Chris, where he demonstrates his love for fish in two locations. Both of them are fantastic.
Cuisine Type: Seafood
Tout le homard
Sardine de la tête à la queue
Variation de l’estran
Address: Plage de la Concurrence, La Rochelle, 17000, France
Phone: +33 5 46 41 48 19
Website: Christopher Coutanceau Official Site
Hours: Closed: Monday, Sunday
Michelin Stars: 3