After Paul Cézanne, Sainte-Victoire Mountain has provided a constant source of inspiration for creative spirits…
At the Saint Estève restaurant, the Chef Mathias Dandine hones his talents and communicates his energy.
Mathias Dandine was born into his parent's kitchen in Bormes-les-Mimosas and discovered the culinary world at the family restaurant: L’Escoundudo.
He started his training with Gui Gedda, "the Pope of Provencal cuisine", whose heritage he continues to nurture. Strong tastes, delicious treats and centre stage for each exceptional product continue to form the basis of his art.
With Laurent Tarridec (Les Roches hotel in Le Lavandou), he learned how to combine gourmet cuisine with his traditional roots.
When he worked at the Oasis (Mandelieu-la-Napoule) with the Chefs Louis Outhier and Stéphane Raimbault, the latter had recently returned from Asia and served a delicious combination of Japanese seasoning and local produce, Mathias discovered a style of cuisine from distant shores.
In 2002, the young Chef returned to Bormes-les-Mimosas to take over the family restaurant: L’Escoundudo, and earned it its first Michelin star in 2003.
In 2006, Mathias Dandine was awarded another precious "macaron", this time at the helm of the Les Roches hotel’s restaurant in Le Lavandou.
The Michelin star was awarded in February 2014, barely a few months after opening.
In the kitchens, Mathias Dandine relies on his instincts. Here, there are no ready-made recipes, the Chef draws inspiration from the tastes and colours which the region offers every day.
This gives rise to a spontaneous menu dictated by the seasons and his inspiration.
Although the Chef knows how to be open and attentive when creating his dishes, precision is the key when it comes to the quality of the produce and the cooking methods!
It is this balance between creative freedom and high technical standards that makes Mathias' cuisine so surprising.
Mathias Dandine brings a breath of fresh air to the traditional dishes of southern France. Thus, whilst preserving its original ingredients, bouillabaisse “borgne” (with no fish) adopts its Michelin-star dimension: the crouton becomes a long golden tartine that is accompanied by a rouille sauce served with a spoon. A true delight.
The Chef remains loyal to his roots by reinventing his dishes according to the seasons. He enhances traditional dishes with his own personal touch that is so recognisable.
In the spring, the first green asparagus is served simply with a mousseline sauce, but the "truffle" touch and the delicious combination of the fresh brousse cheese transforms the initial simplicity.
In the summer, Pan Bagnat "as in Nice" with Palamos prawns is coated with a gently reduced anchovy sauce: the "Bagna Cauda" (hot bath).
In the autumn, Tarbouriech oysters in a seawater jelly remind us of long summer days at the beach. Scallops are deliciously accompanied by kohrabi and chestnut filled ravioli, seasoning and pickled lemons.
When winter comes, the Hunters Pithivier pie with partridge or pheasant is served according to tradition (cabbage, truffle and foie gras) and cooked the whole night.
The Chef's dishes are festive and marked by the arrival of products which he likes to turn into events.
In January, for the Truffle Market, Mathias Dandine welcomes his Chef friends for a weekend devoted to black truffles. All the chefs take part in a demonstration-tasting experience and centre stage is given to improvised Chef duos.
The Chef's choice of this place is obvious and you will soon understand why.
The tables around the exterior appear to hang over garden. The horizon laid out before you gives the impression of a dinner at one with nature.
The place's decoration reflects the image of the hotel, elegant and modern. Stylish furniture, comfortable armchairs, soft lighting, beautiful crockery, bouquets of flowers... Every detail has been studied with great care to ensure that you enjoy a prestigious gourmet evening.
The Chef's enthusiasm is contagious and he infects the team with all the energy needed to run the establishment. In the dining room, the entire team is extremely involved and take part in a superbly well choreographed ballet. Each one knows the role he has to play to ensure that your meal is an exceptional moment.
Working in the dining room at the Saint Estève means more than just serving dishes but rather participating in the collective effort required for their success.