A maître cuisinier of France and a member of the French culinary academy, Jean-Charles Brédas offers a new local cuisine, far beyond folklore, created from regional products.
Through his cooking, this chef, a Martiniquais in his lineage and heart, offers a new, uncomplicated twist on traditional recipes: flaked salt cod and green bananas with an old-fashioned cucumber salad, is certainly a perfect example of the bridge between Europe and the Caribbean. In 1992, Christian Millau, owner of the Gault and Millau guide, was travelling through Martinique. He tasted Brédas' cooking and awarded him the Golden Key of Quality for his cuisine that combines influences of the old and new worlds and local and imported products, such as his foie gras and yellow banana millefeuilles; green bananas, duck confit and girolles; and skillet of green bananas, salt cod and morels.
Brédas asserts the Creole-ness of his cooking, not a traditional, set-in-stone Creole tradition, but a style that is open to blending with influences from other parts of the world. The Carib Indians were the original inhabitants of Martinique, to be followed by the Europeans and Africans: three civilizations, three major cultures, who created a Creole society. Martinique is a crossroads of the world - it is this inter-mixing that you find in his cuisine.
In February 2014, he was officially inducted into the French Culinary Academy. It is Brédas' strong desire to promote his region, Martinique, the Caribbean environment, the spirit of the original inhabitants who inspire him, and the richness of a culinary heritage that is still little known by those from his native country.
His cooking is simple, but depends on the use of spices and a complexity of harmonies. While crushing a bay rum leaf to flavor a chicken dish, he says that you cannot talk about Creole cooking without this spice. It envelops every dish with its aroma. It is an indispensible tie, like the string attached to the bouquet garni.
Take yourself on a tropical flight of fancy by reading the recipes below. They transmit the flavors and aromas, and the very essence of Chef Jean-Charles Brédas' creativity.
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