Chef Mathias DANDINE works hard to showcase Mediterranean cuisine with its sun-drenched flavours he takes pleasure in revisiting through his creations. In total symbiosis with this terroir and this region he loves so much, he composes a gastronomic symphony with the warm accents of the South.
Being born and bred here, what is your approach to the local terroir?
At Le Saint-Estève life is guided by the seasons! Events mark the arrival of the produce we use. In December, the Sunday before Christmas is the day of the truffle market. We welcome chef friends for a weekend entirely devoted to the black truffle. They come from the Lubéron, the Var and even the Côte d’Azur.The best local wine suppliers and top-quality craftsmen who usually work with me always rise to the occasion.
For example, the Domaine de Richeaume at Puyloubier, is extraordinary! In the Coteaux d'Aix region, Château Revelette owned by Peter Ficher is also remarkable and produces some fantastic wines. Peter really captures the terroir, the identity of the terroir. In my opinion this is the reason why they are among the best wine-growers in France.
The current wine menu is a selection of local domains, with different vintages to highlight the specific features of each of them. I like the idea that the customer can taste two vintages from the same domain and be surprised by the way the wine changes over time.
If you had to choose one of your dishes which you think best sums up the Pays d’Aix terroir, which would it be?
The “Pan Bagnat” and Palamos prawns (from the Mediterranean) smothered in anchovy sauce. It’s a dish that matches the region: a simple dish you can eat “on the go”. In Provence you can eat without having to cook, a piece of bread and tapenade, a bit of goat’s cheese...it’s outdoor cuisine to match the climate.
Simple but refined.
Which wine would you match to it?
I would say a 2008 white Château Crémade from the Palette AOC. It would bring out the flavour of the herbs and spices!
Le Saint Estève
2250 Route Cézanne
13100 LE THOLONET
Tel: +33 4 42 27 10 14