HIS CAREER PATH
Originally from Provence, he obtained a degree from Avignon Culinary Hotel School just before working as a clerk for the Michelin three-star restaurant Troisgros at Roanne. Later, during his military service, he was assigned to the Ministry of Housing and became the “Maître d’Hotel” of this official institutional site. Back in Roanne, he gets involved in the kitchen’s team of Pierre and Michel Troigros. Two years capturing rich and intensive moments, learning the deep meaning of discipline and meticulousness… at the service of the genuine culinary tradition. Then, driven by his flair he integrated the kitchen brigade of Pierre Gagnaire he met at the Culinary School, the best starred Chef in 2015 according to his peers, and discovered how to unleash his creativity, how to release his imagination and create flavors in harmony, how to bring pleasure back in the kitchen and on the plates. In 2000, he decided to join Christian Etienne, the leading figure of the Provencal cuisine, and became his assistant Chef. For 16 years, thanks to the mutual trust and the remarkable complicity between him and the famous one-star Chef, he blossomed expressing quite freely his own culinary talent. Since 2016, with his associate and wife Corinne, he tackle the daily challenge and manage this renown “Maison”.
A charming smile and a bouquet of flowers… What better way to be greeted ? Flowers are her first passion. Indeed, when she was 14 she trained to become a florist, and decided to improve her technical skills practicing in Roanne and its surrounding area. She then fell in love with Guilhem and followed him to Paris, where within a very well-known high-end retail brand, she was in charge of making prestigious bouquets and floral compositions for the luxury palace, Le Royal Monceau.
Back in Provence, charmed by the city of the Popes, they settled in Avignon and got married. A little after, she gave birth to their son : Massimo… and realized her dream of opening her own flower shop. She then could experiment and let her imagination and creativity run free. She dedicated herself to her passion and lived out of her floral art during 12 years before deciding to participate actively in their common project and play a key role, alongside her husband, in the everyday life of the restaurant. Indeed, in 2016 she joined Guilhem’s team bringing her personal touch, revealing the new charms of this unique venue.
With an eye for the smallest detail, it’s an honor and a very great pleasure for her to welcome you to “La Maison “.
A fantastic human adventure
a common project, a teamwork …
Jean-Claude is in charge of the dining room and of the choice of the “Fromages”. In France, a life rich in dilemmas ! Another dilemma : choosing your wine ! Thibaut who masters the art of tasting, pairing and testing wines will be happy to help you in your choice. He is there to suggest you with the wines you will truly enjoy.
They are supported by Stéphanie, Myriam, Julie, Mickael and Charline.
Christophe, my assistant Chef, and Héloïse, ma pastry Chef, help me create the cuisine that I imagine. To compose our gourmet meals they are assisted by Paul-Etienne, Mike, Paul, Gauthier and Sébastien.
Laurent deals with the dishes, Dany takes care of the linens and Stéphanie helps me manage “La Maison”.
« It’s through persistent and shared action that our dreams are nourished and our hopes can be realized : our partners, suppliers and all the members of our staff, without whom we would not be able to achieve our objectives, deserve all our gratitude. They all, thanks to their personality, talents and commitment, make an essential contribution that allows us to offer great times to our guests. A huge thank you!»
An historic monument
Right next to the famous Popes Palace, on its south side, the structure that has become “La Maison Christian Etienne” has played an important part in many periods of the town’s history. The building was built between 1190 and 1220, even before the papal residence which dates from 1335, and destined to be a place of power. Indeed, papal officials and governors of the king have served within this unique venue that was also set up to receive Anne of Brittany, Queen of France.
In 1791, when the papal properties became a part of the French territory, the house became the first town hall of the city of Avignon.
The old palace has retained many of the secrets of these great rich periods, and much of its decoration is still visible on the walls and the ceilings of the restaurant. Particularly, polychromatic paintings decorated with Fleur-de-lys and powdered with ermines.
The architectural unit, that “La Maison” belongs to, is classed as a French Historical Monument and listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Christian Etienne chose and restored this building with passion during two long years before the restaurant opened its doors in 1990.
This great Chef, who was granted a one-star by the Michelin Guide during 30 years without interruption, turned it into a very attractive and popular venue, an institution in Avignon. A magical place where little stories become part of the great history… always trying to enchant its guests.
starred Chef and “Master Chef of France”
He started his apprenticeship by working in Provence and moved to Paris in order to enhance his skill levels working at the famous Ritz and Intercontinental palaces. Then he decided to return to his region and worked as a Chef at “L’Auberge de Tavel” before opening his first restaurant in Avignon in 1978. In 1986, he obtained his first star from the Michelin Guide. Ten years later, he settled “rue de Mons”, at the heart of the Popes city, honoring the true traditional cuisine of Provence with its unique savors, colors, aromas, authenticity, light and warmth… In 2016, after having spent 52 years cooking and perfecting traditional recipes, he passed the torch to his devoted right-hand man, Guilhem Sevin.