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Oceana Magazine Winter 2011: Chef’s Corner: Gaël Orieux

By Sophie Jouan

As executive chef in the Michelin-starred restaurant Auguste on Paris’s Left Bank, Gaël Orieux places a premium on sustainability. He recently became the sponsor of the  European campaign "Mr Goodfish," whose aim is to make the public participate in the conservation of the marine resources by choosing the right fish; its slogan is “Good for the ocean, good for you.”

Orieux is a professional diver whose culinary focus has always had a marine influence. He became aware of seafood sustainability when the five-star restaurant he worked at struggled to source some of its fish, such as turbot.

“We need to change our way of consuming and to adapt our activities to respect the environment. Here in France, we forgot that a long time ago, in most of the restaurants, turtles  were in the menu,” he said. “Now, this species is endangered because we disregarded the safe fishing limits of its stock. But today we’re aware of it, and that’s why I decided to cook only with sustainable seafood.”

Orieux’s clientele at Auguste have responded well to his menu, which includes many lesser-known and therefore lesser-fished species. “They are pretty surprised by the fact that they don’t know the species that I’m proposing in the menu,” he said. “But they’re always satisfied because the most important thing is to do well when cooking it, and show people that these alternative fish can be scrumptious as well.”

To learn more about Auguste, visit www.restaurantauguste.fr. To learn more about Mr. Goodfish, visit the website, www.mrgoodfish.com.

 

Pout with muscat grape pulp candied in violet mustard

  • 2 pieces of pout of 600 gr
  • 40 gr grape seed oil

 

Grape Pulp

  • 100 gr. of grape nutmeg
  • 20 gr. butter
  • 500 gr. grape nutmeg
  • ½ L port red
  • ½ L red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • four-spice mix to taste
  • Juniper Berry to taste
  • 1 piece of orange
  • 1 piece of lemon
  • 40 gr. of purple mustard

 

Trim

  • 400 gr. of porcini mushrooms
  • 50 gr. of butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pout Preparation
  • Cut pout in fillets, remove bones and keep refrigerated.

 

Grape Pulp Preparation

Pull grapes apart from the cluster. In a saucepan mix the grapes with the cinnamon stick, the bay leaves, some four-spice mix, juniper berries, lemon juice and orange, finish by adding the port wine and red wine. Cook on a very low flame until only 1/3 of the liquid is left. Remove the cinnamon stick and blend it all. Add salt, pepper, purple mustard and pass through a thin strainer. Peel the Muscat grapes by slowly removing the skin using a small knife.

 

Porcini Preparation

Remove unusable parts of the mushrooms with a small knife and then rinse them with water by cleaning with a small brush. Once the mushrooms are clean, cut them in half lengthwise. Chop the garlic in small pieces and put it aside for later use.

 

Finishing and Presentation

Add salt and pepper to the fish fillets and fry slowly in grape seed oil. At the same time,  fry the mushrooms in butter adding a touch of minced garlic. Heat the grape pulp and give the other grapes a quick fry in butter