There is a reason why Septime in Paris has become a global destination for food lovers ranking 24th in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list unveiled in Antwerp last week. At the age of 30 Bertrand Grébaut and his high-school friend Théophile Pourriat decided to open Septime in the 11th arrondissement of Paris in 2011. Their ambition: to build a space they had not experienced anywhere else in Paris, liberated and unpretentious, “a place with first-class cuisine, a beautiful setting, friendly service and a list of natural wines that we love.”
Ten years later (and boasting a Michelin star), Septime and the rest of the venues have become a destination in their own right. Septime was soon followed by the opening of three other venues, each with its own identity: La Cave, an intimate wine bar specializing in natural wines; Clamato, where families and groups of friends feast on fish and seafood; and finally, the charming guesthouse D’une île, a magnificent farm set deep in the Perche countryside outside Paris. Last December, they also opened a coffee shop and bakery called Tapisserie.
With Pourriat’s experience working in authentic and tastefully decorated Italian restaurants, and Bertrand’s time spent in some of the most prestigious restaurants in France, Septime opened its doors in 2011.
Septime, La Cave, Clamato, D’une île is published to celebrate the 10th anniversary and features 50 recipes from all of the duo’s establishments allowing home cooks and chefs alike to experience the exquisite dishes. It will be released on October 21. The book is arranged in a way that explores the everyday life of the restaurants and includes photo diaries of meetings with local producers, fishermen and winemakers throughout France. Chapters introduce each restaurant and the principles that bind the group together, along with notes on infusions, preserves and sauces, sustainable fishing, the restaurants and their connection to the garden.
Wine – especially natural wines – are at the heart of Grébaut and Pourriat’s approach. The book guides readers through biodynamic principles and features a chapter on wine pairings, which are linked to the colour of the dishes as well as their taste. Each element of the book is captured by analogue photography, taken by Alexandre Guirkinger.
Grébaut’s cuisine is subtle and instinctive, simultaneously modern and traditional. It focuses on vegetables and micro-seasonality and respects produce and nature. Septime, La Cave, Clamato, D’une île features 50 recipes allowing home cooks and chefs alike to experience contemporary Parisian perfection. Dishes include Egg mayonnaise with Aquitaine caviar; White onion tarte tatin with mustard seeds; Aubergine (eggplant) confit with red rice miso vinaigrette, figs, wild blackberries, shiitake mushrooms, bee pollen and aromatic herbs; Jugged Chausey lobster with civet sauce, fermented berries and dried beef; Three-seed mousseline with Savagnin caramel, nougatine and puffed buckwheat and Choux pastry filled with sweet vernal grass-infused cream, glacé (candied) cherries.
Grébaut and Pourriat look back on the creativity, trials and successes of the past decade in Septime, La Cave, Clamato, D’une île, presenting an intimate and evocative monograph on contemporary French cuisine.