Jean-François Fafournoux - Les Toques d'Auvergne by Natacha Sibellas
©Natacha Sibellas

Chef Jean-François Fafournoux

Chef Jean-François Fafournoux sublimates the Livradois-Forez region

For almost 30 years, this chef from Auvergne has been at the helm of the restaurant Les Chênes in Augerolles. Also president of the Toques d’Auvergne, Jean-François Fafournoux loves to sublimate the natural products of the Livradois-Forez region.

The Toques president who sublimates Auvergne in its plates

At the age of 15, he entered the brand-new Chamalières hotel school. At 20, he joined his mother in the kitchens of the restaurant in Augerolles. Four years later, he was running the family establishment. Today, the chef at Les Chênes combines tradition and modernity, offering a menu full of local flavors, with a touch of the avant-garde. A case in point is this beef chuck stew with baby vegetables. The crispness of the turnip, the sweetness of the carrot and the softness of the meat, all nicely spiced with coriander and Indian spices… It’s a journey for the palate, beautiful and tasty.

In fact, as they are essential to good health and very varied, they are an infinite source of inspiration for this dynamic chef who is happy with his job. a recipe for spring? “Asparagus tips cooked at low temperature. I cook them for 30 minutes at 85°. Peeled, of course, and vacuum-packed with a good pinch of salt. The flavor is preserved. Add a drizzle of walnut oil. In texture, the asparagus is firm and soft: it’s magic.”

Jean-François Fafournoux favors extra-local selection du Livradois-Forez

“With my suppliers, I work extra-locally. Freshwater fish, vegetables, cheese, honey, bread: everything is grown and produced around Augerolles. I favor short circuits. We preach it on a daily basis with the Toques d’Auvergne: it’s our battle song, if I dare say so.

The association, of which he is president, brings together 44 chefs from the four Auvergne départements. It promotes local products and encourages collaboration with Auvergne producers. “Quality can only come from small producers and local businesses.

It’s a recipe that works for this chef, who welcomes gourmet regulars every day “from 50 kilometers away”.

His ingredient of choice?

“Vegetables! If I had to work on one thing, it would be vegetables!”

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