We knew this chef already, from his previous restaurant le Bamboche, and have been impressed with his incredible knowledge of meat ever since. He was born in the provincial town of Issoudun in the centre of France and enjoyed baking cakes more than he did playing outside. After becoming bored with France, Claude moved to America in 2004. Four years later, he returned out of homesickness and opened his current restaurant in the Marais quarter. When we asked him about veal, he said: “Veal has always been an important part of my work because it is a unique type of meat. As a chef, we are obliged to treat veal with respect, and make a distinction between veal, and veal. One thing I feel is particularly important, is that veal should not be buried by other ingredients: it should stand out. You could compare it to the scallop, the coquille St. Jacques.”
Finely chop the veal, add zest and juice of different citrus fruits and season with Szechuan pepper, some salt and the finely-chopped sage. Cover with the cream and blend everything to a fine paste. Allow to mellow in the fridge for a few hours. Clean the celeriac, cut it into pieces and cook with the milk and liquorice root for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the licorice root and process the mixture into a smooth foam using a Thermoblender. Place some of the veal in the centre of the plate, cover with very thin slices of mushroom, add the hot foam and garnish with Szechuan pepper, the green pepper, a sage leaf and the orange zest.
Using a knife, finely chop the veal to the consistency of tartare. Add the chopped basil, the shallot, the coriander and the nasturtium, and season to taste with maniguette pepper and combava (kaffir lime). Wash and slice the vegetables for the bouillon, bring to the boil with 2 litres of water, and add the lemon grass and the shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 2 hours. Add the coriander, simmer for a few more minutes and pass through a sieve. Season the bouillon generously and to taste. Cut the romanesco into very small florets and julienne the radish. Place a quenelle of tartare in a dish along with the romanesco florets. Cover with the radish and a drizzle of oil over it. Pour the bouillon into the dish at the table.
160g veal topside, 4 nasturtium leaves and 4 nasturtium flowers, 2 basil leaves, 1 sprig of coriander, 1 small shallot, 50g radish, 30g romanesco, maniguette pepper, 1 combava, 2 dstspn argan oil.
For the bouillon
1 or 2 large carrot(s), 1 leek, 30g celery, 1 stem of lemongrass, 30g ginger, 3 Thai coriander leaves, 2 onions, 50g shiitake mushrooms.
Sear the seasoned top rump steak in sizzling butter together with the chopped garlic, the bay leaf and the sage for about 15 minutes. Baste regularly. Put the meat on a rack, cover with aluminium foil and allow to rest for ten minutes. Finely chop the black garlic and blend the berries until they are smooth. Mix the residue from the berries with the garlic and add the olive oil. Put to one side. Wash and scrub the vegetables, slice the carrots lengthwise and grate Jerusalem artichoke into thin slices. Put the vegetables and slices of lemon, a drop of water and 30 g of butter into a pan and bring to the boil for 5 minutes on a high heat. Add the rest of the butter and glaze the vegetables. Slice the veal, season with salt and pepper and place harmoniously on a plate with the vegetables. Grate some of the galangal over it and spoon some condiment in between. Finish with the sheep’s yoghurt.