Michel Guérard was classically trained in both cookery and pâtisserie. He opened his first restaurant (Le Pot-Au-Feu) in Paris in 1965, received his first Michelin star in 1967 and his second in 1971. The restaurant was forced to close in 1972 due to a major road works, at the same time that he met his future wife. He was a significant player in the movement known as Nouvelle Cuisine but along side this, he developed what he called Cuisine Minceur. This is the story.
In 1972, he met Christine Barthélemy. She was the daughter of the founder of Biotherm (skin care products - big on seaweed) who also owned a string of spa hotels. She liked his marriage proposal (who wouldn't fall for that warm, friendly charm?) but suggested he might like to lose a little weight. Cuisine Minceur was born along with a clever book - a best seller. Together they renovated the spa at Eugénie-les-Bains (S.W. of France) where he not only set up his new restaurant (soon to receive the third star) but also offered a health spa with treatments and a special menu. For the spa restaurant, he developed a cuisine that was delicious, elegant and light but still with an air of pampering luxury. Sauces were often puréed vegetables, fish was steamed over herbs, there were even desserts. Look into Potted Salmon with Lemon, Green Peppercorns and Sauce Grelette or Floating Islands with Blackcurrant Sauce.
Strangely, the book came out in Australia even before his Cuisine Gourmande. I question how much it was used by the general public. There are beautiful recipes that I still use although you lose nearly as much weight putting them together as you do eating them!
(As to his other book, Cuisine Gourmande, I challenge anyone to work through it and not come out a better cook. Both books are still published but you can find them readily in second-hand book stores or at garage sales.)
Incidentally, to visit or make a booking (haha) http://www.michelguerard.com
Below, Christine and Michel, together at Eugénie-Les-Bains.
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