Good food, honestly made

PUBLISHED: 12:01 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:21 20 February 2013

Remy Joly

Remy Joly

Frenchman Remy Joly, of Mya Lacarte in Caversham, predicts a return to basics in the kitchen, with the revival of the classic dish...

Name the cooking hero/heroine who inspired you
My grandmothers. They have a really good understanding of producers as they both grow their own vegetables and fruit. They use the produce at their best and make conserves and jam when the quality isn't so good. They taught me to be passionate about the value of local food.

What is your earliest memory of a taste or a meal?
Me preparing a three-course meal in Brittany at my grandparents' when I was 10 years-old. I started at 7am and was finally ready at about 1pm. Already doing the hours at that age!

What's your most memorable meal?
A very simple one. A quiche that my girlfriend Amye made, served with a fresh crispy salad. It was a surprise for me and her first-ever attempt at cooking. It was a great success. I nearly ate the whole quiche myself! Sometimes a memorable meal can be just as much about the occasion as it is the food.

Desert island foods - if you were stranded on a desert island which three foods would you want to take with you?
Cheese, bread and wine. What more could a French man want!

Describe your menu in four words.
British, seasonal, exciting, fresh.

How would you describe your approach to food?
Fresh quality ingredients, simply cooked.

In what way does your food reflect your personality?
It's honest.

What are your predictions for the next food trend?
Back to classic old dishes and cooking methods.

How often do you change the menu?
The à la carte changes with the seasons every two to three months.

What is your favourite kitchen utensil?
My staff! (Only kidding!) I would say my Victorinox knives I've had since I started in the trade 16 years ago. They are still as good as ever.

Name your favourite cheese.
Unpasteurised Camembert.

How do you source local produce?
I visit local suppliers, do research on the internet, go to farmer's markets and also get word of mouth recommendations from people and colleagues from the industry.

Name a favourite Berkshire producer or supplier.
Richard Bartlett from Goring has a wide variety of organic salad leaves (peashoots, mustard leaves, huge fresh basil etc).

What advice would you give to anyone interested in a career in cooking?
Do it for the passion of food and don't count the hours, as time flies when you're having fun!

Remy Joly. Mya Lacarte, 5 Prospect Street, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 8JB. Tel: 01189 463 400

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