Le Vistamar plays host to an original concept orchestrated by chef Joël Garault.
“Cooking is a passion and, like all passions, it grows”, says Joël Garault.
Born in 1955 in Loudun (the Vienne department), he started cooking at an early age. At 15 he started his apprenticeship in Tours. In 1973 he was working alongside Chef Christian Willer at the Hôtel Hermitage in La Baule.
That’s when the basis of his technique was formed. Willer, whom he considered his “maître à penser”, taught him the value of work well done and organisation by teaching him about aptitude to work.
Then things really started to move quickly. In 1978, still with the same chef, he worked in Courchevel. In 1981, Joël Garault took a decisive step by opening Le Palais des Bénédictins, a gourmet restaurant in Limoges. Two years later, he was appointed Chef at the Château des Bézards in Nogent-sur-Vernisson.
In 1985, he teamed up again with Christian Willer at La Palme d’Or restaurant (Hôtel Martinez, Cannes) where he was awarded his first Michelin star. In 1988 he moved to La Réserve in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.
Moving to the Principality of Monaco was tempting and in 1991 the Société des Bains de Mer welcomed him to the one Michelin star restaurant La Coupole at the Hôtel Mirabeau.
For seven years, Joël Garault worked hard to develop the gastronomic reputation of La Coupole in the Principality and across the world – Lebanon, Thailand, USA, Saudi Arabia, England, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland and Spain.
On 1st December 1998, the Société des Bains de Mer gave him the opportunity to run the kitchens at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, one of the region’s finest hotels. This new challenge motivated him and with great gusto he worked towards building up the gourmet recognition worthy of a hotel of this class. A new fish restaurant, Le Vistamar, opened in April 1999 and was awarded a Michelin star the following year.
Day in, day out, his cuisine pays tribute to seasonal produce in order to offer maximum flavour at the best time. “Why make things complicated when simplicity requires mastery at all times… cooking methods, flavours, finishing touches and tasting,” he says. He wants his clientele to rediscover authentic flavours and old fashioned aromas, making the most of the produce Mother Nature offers us.
“A dish should have character, look good and respect the ingredients that make up the recipe” – a superb definition which perfectly illustrates Joël Garault’s cuisine.
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