Our Stories

Autumn Pairings with Chef Jordan Billan

Jordan, tell us about your background?

My parents have always worked in the hospitality industry. They settled in Burgundy about 20 years ago. I learned a lot from them and had the opportunity to meet many wine producers and hoteliers in the region. I was very lucky to have such a prominent network in the hospitality industry when I started my career. I started working with renowned chefs like Franck Schmitt, who taught me the basics of traditional French cuisine. I also learned a lot from Stephane Derbord, who shared his passion for “terroir” and his respect for the raw materials he used when I was working in his Dijon restaurant, “L’Origine”. 

As a chef, what are your specialties?

My cuisine takes its roots from traditional French cuisine, elevated sauces, cooking to perfection, and, most importantly, high-quality products. I like to add a modern touch to every dish that I make by lightning them up and adding freshness. I want people to feel the authenticity without the stodginess. In my restaurant, during the holiday season, I like to work with more sophisticated products - ones we only have the opportunity to taste once a year. Lobster and caviar are excellent examples. They don’t need much preparation, but they’re of excellent quality. My goal in cooking is minimal intervention so that the product can express itself in a memorable, gourmet experience - unpretentiously. 

Tell us more about the recipes you chose!

We’ve had a very sunny year here in Burgundy, and mushroom season was delayed, so when the first ones appeared, I decided to create a holiday starter to highlight them. I prepared a fricassee with this delicate mushroom, livened it up with torrefied regional hazelnut, candied yolk for softness, and fine Chanterelles. I would pair this beautifully rustic dish with a fine red wine - the Volnay Premier Cru 2014 from Famille Carabello Baum works perfectly.

For the main dish, I chose butter roasted veal sweetbread with a soft center and perfect crust. On the side is a quince purée to bring a bit of acidity, and some glazed winter vegetables - artichokes, potatoes, and baby carrots. I then baste my dish with a gourmet jus infused with herbs, bringing a generous coating to the palate. I recommend a white wine for this dish. The well-balanced Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2015 would pair this warm and subtle dish perfectly. 

Finally, I decided to create an original dessert to pair with the powerful Clos Marey Monge Monopole 2016. I started with very dark and bitter chocolate and paired it with a sweet cèpe ice cream. I created a trompe l’oeil with a green sponge cake for the moss, crunchy chocolate for branches, and macarons to imitate the shape of a mushroom cap.

What do you usually cook at home during the winter season?

Winter is squash season. At this time of year, Burgundy’s temperature heavily decreases, so I like to go home and prepare a warm butternut velouté. To liven it up a little, I add a poached egg, a few croutons, and my favorite appetizer is ready. I also love Vichyssoise, a historical dish based on mashed potatoes, leek, and chicken stock. It is incredibly simple yet delicious. 

Winter is also a season for sharing and giving. I always prepare generous main courses, for example, a butter grilled beef fillet, roasted potatoes, and old vegetables like parsnip, rutabaga, beetroot, or turnip. They bring memories and warmth to the table. For large holiday gatherings, I like to combine tradition and modernity. I often restyle the classic capon chicken with a creative touch. I also enjoy pairing products that we don’t commonly see together - like delicate scallops and black sausage.

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