Chef of the Year: Romuald Fassenet
Each year, the La Maison de La Vache qui rit team gives a chef carte blanche to revisit its recipe wall. To commemorate the brand’s 100th anniversary, Chef Romuald Fassenet, Meilleur Ouvrier de France since 2004, was the obvious choice, since the generosity of this Jura portion and its popular success had to be embodied in the inventiveness and humanity of this ambassador of the Jura. He, who loves beautiful products so much, was able to take up a new challenge, that of reinventing dishes based on The Laughing Cow® by finding new flavours and other combinations to sublimate the richness of a popular product.
Excellence: this is the common thread running through Romuald Fassenet’s career, from the stoves of Matignon to the kitchens of the Tour d’Argent, via the great houses of the United States and Germany, Romuald Fassenet has never stopped perfecting his art alongside the great names in gastronomy.
His uncompromising standards, his professional curiosity and his passion for his profession were consolidated by Nadine and Jean-Paul Jeunet, a two Michelin-starred chef in Arbois, with whom he stayed for several years. In 2002, Romuald moved to Le Bec Fin in Dole with his wife Catherine and their two-month-old daughter Valentine. In 2004, his work was recognized by the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, and in 2006, the Michelin Guide – a world reference in gastronomy – recognized the Chef’s talents by awarding him his first star with the gastronomic restaurant in the Jura in Dole.
2007 marks a new professional challenge for Catherine, Romuald and their two daughters. They bought the Château Mont Joly in Sampans and transformed it, modernising it and giving it an endearing character by giving it, as a family, all its soul.
Now an accomplished and recognised chef, Romuald Fassenet continues his quest for perfection. He cultivates his culinary inspiration on a daily basis and brilliantly transmits his know-how to others, for example by accompanying the Japanese team to the Bocuse d’Or since 2009. His coaching has been a great success as the team has won a prize at each competition. He is now looking for a new challenge by joining Team France since 2018. Since winter 2015, Romuald Fassenet has been in charge of the menu of the starred restaurant of the 5-star hotel Pashmina in Val-Thorens. In 2020, Le Château du Mont Joly received the Gault et Millau d’Or Grand Est award.
Romuald Fassenet is a chef of the senses. Through his abundant creativity, his love for beautiful products and his perfect mastery of technical gestures, he creates an emotional cuisine where each dish amazes the palate. Chef Fassenet’s cuisine is inventive, creative, delicate and surprising… seductive in short.
“How could I refuse La Vache Qui Rit®, I never could. It gives me a smile and I like to laugh, we are made for each other. It is also an honour to be asked to display my recipes in its museum for its 100th anniversary. As for each of my recipes, I took my coloured pencils and put my sketches on a notebook.
I wanted to add a touch of vegetal with cauliflower or fennel, legumes such as black rice or chickpeas, and to promote organic products with eggs or lentils. But I also had fun highlighting flavours from elsewhere, such as the VQR with Blue Cheese, red bean and chilli, or roast chicken…
I immediately thought of my two accomplices, Christophe Noirot for his magnificent shots which he then transforms into real paintings. He can also combine elements with movements and as a good Jurassian raised on The Laughing Cow®, he didn’t hesitate for a moment. As for Stephane Cuisant and his teams, they always bring me new things with a rigour and purity that I appreciate. I took great pleasure in making these recipes and in creating a modern and playful presentation. Amused what! “