Alexandre Gauthier
La Grenouillère
Boulogne-sur-mer, France

The year 1979 brought two happy additions to the Gauthier family. In March, Roland Gauthier acquired a traditional French restaurant called L’Auberge de la Grenouillère (the Frog Pond Inn) in the northern Pas-de-Calais region. Two months later, his son Alexandre was born. The younger Gauthier followed in his father’s footsteps, training at culinary school, then doing apprenticeships with the likes of Régis Marcon and Michel Roth. In 2001 the Grenouillère lost its long-cherished Michelin star, and Alexandre took over the restaurant two years later. A new generation meant a brand new style: out with the crêpes suzette, in with barely-cooked pigeon, lobster smoked over juniper branches, wild herbs. Pepper is the only spice he uses. Michelin took note of his straightforward, daring cuisine and in 2008 gave the restaurant its star back. In 2012, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards named Gauthier “One to watch.” This is one frog pond worth leaping into.

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