Coquillade NB

René Solnon

  • Crispy, melt-in-the-mouth millefeuille


René Solnon is sorry for his «excessive shyness». It has certainly made him one of the most discreet of Provence’s great pastry chefs. When he first came to the Luberon he worked in Gargas, where Bernard Mathys’ restaurant Le Chêne drew diners from all over the region. «I arrived at La Coquillade seven years ago,» he says. «I put millefeuille on the menu as soon as I moved in. My millefeuille,» says 55-year-old Bernard in fond remembrance. His millefeuille, the most classic of classics, is now the restaurant’s emblem. «I work it for lightness and crispness. I want it to melt in the mouth,» he says. His creation has five airy layers of flaky pastry, caramelised on both sides. «I add an ultra-light cream filling like a mousseline, strongly flavoured with Madagascar vanilla,» he continues. Up to 12 pods per litre, he says. Proper flaky pastry using butter from Isigny in Normandy gives a delicate, nutty final result. It is laid on a sharp fruit jelly to contrast with the sweetness of the sugar: Menton lemon, gentian root, redcurrant and ginger, rhubarb, raspberry and Yunnan tea from China. And finally a light, light film of white chocolate in place of the traditional icing on top. If you try to pick it up in your fingers it falls apart to reveal the treasure of its thousand crispy layers.


Domaine de la Coquillade,
84400 Gargas

Tél. 04 90 74 71 71

Par Pierre Psaltis