Mitchell et Michel: Mitchell Altholz Cooks at La Bastide

by Melody Kettle

Chrysis Altholz & her father, Mitchell AltholzThis just in from France:  Mitchell Altholz, executive chef of Highlawn Pavilion, has been invited as a guest chef to cook one night at Michel Guérard's new Relais & Châteaux restaurant La Bastide in France.

Who is Michel Guerard? A rather renown figure of French cuisine.  In 1965 Guérard opened a restaurant in Paris called Le Pot-au-Feu, which in 1967 earned Guérard his first star in the Michelin Guide. The restaurant gained a second star in 1971.  Among one of the three restaurants Christine and Michel Guérard currently own in Eugénie-les-Bains is Les Prés d'Eugénie which has, since 1977, received three stars in the Michelin Guide.
Does a chef as accomplished as Mitchell Altholz feel any trepidation about such an assignment? Maybe a little. 
It's been a long time since I ran a French kitchen in France (16 years)I have a very good friend who is Michel Guérard's chef de cuisine and is now running his new restaurant in the south west of France.  When he heard I was going to be nearby he asked me if I would like to have his job for the night!

I am very excited!  There are more then twenty-eight cooks in the kitchen, most of them are apprentices I will be offering a five course menu for the dinner service,  and will have most of the cooks start with me in the kitchen that day at 6:30 am.

 Michel Guérard' should be one of the guests. I would feel a little better flying in my crew from New Jersey to cook with me - but maybe next time!  

*All Photos Courtesy of Chef Mitchell Altholz