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The chef Carole Lesquer recently took over the kitchen of Flûte Alors!, a dining bar dedicated to artisanal champagnes, which opened last spring. The chef is keen to offer a poetic and hybrid cuisine. Interview.
A pastry chef who became a kitchen chef
We meet the chef Carole Lesquer, busy behind the stove, in the middle of the preparation of the lunch menu. The open kitchen in the heart of the ground floor room was one of the reasons the chef decided to embark on this new adventure. “I worked in basement kitchens for many years, so interacting with customers and seeing outdoors is a real luxury for me,” she says with a smile.
It’s worth noting that Carole Lesquer worked for more than 10 years in the kitchens of starred restaurants as a pastry chef. “Two years ago, I stopped everything to work as a consultant, because I needed to take a step back and rediscover what I love about my job, which had been lost over the years.”
A meeting with the Flûte Alors! team convinced this self-taught enthusiast to take the reins of the restaurant’s kitchen. This chef works by instinct to develop her cuisine, assisted by a commis (also self-taught).
The managers gave her carte blanche to propose a hybrid cuisine that merges the worlds of pastry and cooking. “I would describe my cooking as sensitive and poetic, which tells a story.”
Every evening and on Saturdays you can enjoy a 100% vegetable menu prepared with love by the chef, where fruits and vegetables are cooked with no boundaries. At the moment, a tarte tatin with parsnips and shiso will delight your palate, without being able to tell if it is a sweet or savoury dish. And that is the spirit of a cuisine with no limits. For the lunch menu, the chef works with fish and meat around seasonal vegetables. “It’s exciting to let the customers at the counter taste the food and see their reaction. I put a lot of myself into my cooking, and I’m more than happy to see the positive feedback.”
The champagne lover’s landmark
This address was imagined by Agnès and Sébastien Rouillaux, the founders of Craft et Compagnie, which specialises in importing artisanal champagnes, and Rodolphe Chevalier, owner of the Vinoteca wine bar. “We wanted to create a place accessible to everyone, not just connoisseurs, to help people discover the champagnes of winemakers who are revolutionising the world of champagne.” 200 references on the menu, and a passionate sommelier who will help you discover their selection by proposing food and champagne pairings. “We hope to convince our clientele that there is something else out there, beyond the best-known champagnes!” Regular “gourmet conversation with the winemakers” evenings are also organised to talk directly with the vintners and discover the history of their vintages.
The arrival of the chef was a natural step for the managers, who are keen to offer their customers a fine range of food and drink, and who give Carole Lesquer complete freedom to create the menu.
A modern and colourful restaurant
As you pass by the Flûte Alors! premises, you will be attracted by the beautiful terrace on the pedestrian street, ideal to enjoy a “flute” of champagne in the sun. On the ground floor, you can eat at the counter while admiring the chef at work, or on the high tables overlooking the pedestrian street. On the first floor, a superbly renovated room guarantees a friendly, modern atmosphere, full of life with its pink tones. A space with comfortable benches and low tables invites you to sip a glass of champagne before or after your meal, while the rest of the room offers several tables. An intimate alcove (editor’s note: the historic building is listed) is the perfect place for a business meal or a meal with friends.
More information: www.flutealors.lu
Pictures: Greg Thirion for Flûte Alors !