Promoting the Provençal way of life
By Clotilde Roux
Mathias Dandine was born into a family of hotel and restaurant owners in Bormes-les-Mimosas. Not only is he a great chef, but he also has a feel for hospitality. After training with chef Gui Gedda, his principal mentor, he spent ten years working in some of the region’s Michelin-starred kitchens. He took over the family restaurant in 2002 and was awarded a Michelin star one year later in a 24 m2 kitchen! After buying Hôtel des Roches in Le Lavandou, he became involved in the project to open Les Lodges Sainte-Victoire. “Then I wanted my own business and to run an establishment that would make my childhood dream come true.” Four years ago, he took over La Magdeleine in Gémenos, “a sleepy old lady with a unique charm and enormous potential, which we are gradually renovating.” A product scout who loves working with growers, he prides himself on his local, seasonal Provençal cuisine. His dishes focus on vegetables and herbs, with a distinctive, full-bodied reduction taste. Now a hotelier, the chef trades places, which suits him just fine. He and his loyal team manage this 200-year-old 2,500 m2 house set in 2 hectares of parkland, with 14 rooms and suites, a private villa, a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant, and a traditional Provençal restaurant. Mathias Dandine is about to celebrate 20 years as a Michelin-starred chef, and his plans in the region look set to continue as he takes over La Bastide Bourelly, a local institution in Cabriès.