On the phone, Muriel, the hostess sounds different from expected: her voice, her intonation, her way of talking to me are soft and charming. "The chef is atypical, she says, you should meet him". An appointment is arranged. As I enter, Muriel, a smart black silhouette, welcomes me.
I am struck by the refinement of the place and its calm atmosphere. The white walls, moulded ceiling, black and white chequered floor, round tables, white tablecloth, ancient chinaware, recall Beaulieu in the nineteenth century. In a corner, a man is sitting, dressed in black, his eyelids made up in black. Oddly enough, there is an aura of light about him. He seems to be expecting someone, Oscar Wilde maybe? I understand he is Olivier Streiff, the chef. Muriel confirms and they ask me at their table. Our conversation starts. I had expected to see a rather shy and reserved person. Wrong! He is talkative. He was born in Moselle (eastern France), he has three sisters: "Women! I do know them" he jokes.
His cuisine is an artist’s one, but a strict artist’s. He has no score, everything is improvised, but the orchestration is faultlessly professional as is his career path. His sole requirement is to get flawless season produces; as for the rest it is his secret. Instinct and intuition guide him. He only needs freedom to express himself completely. His motivation, sharing and providing pleasure to his guests, comes straight from the generous "philosophy of taste". Every morning, he receives the best from local producers, not knowing what will come before he starts cooking. No recipe, dishes may change if he lacks the right produce. Pastry is created with Romuald Guiot’s imagination and subtlety making teatime a must for people who have a sweet tooth.
The name of the place comes from the title of French contemporary philosopher Michel Onfray’s "la Raison gourmande: philosophie du goût" (Reason and fondness of food: a philosophy of taste). Olivier Streiff, a lover of words and literature, has discovered in Michel Onfray, an adept of cuisine poetry, who understands materialism and invites to Hedonism. As the patron of the place, it is Michel Onfray’s turn to praise an exceptional table at Beaulieu.
"As for me, via a great chef, Olivier Streiff, I am awarded a tribute that gratifies me! At the same time a sort of star, a moon volcano, a variety of dragonfly, an invented flower, namely a gourmet restaurant named La Raison Gourmande, the title of one of my books saying that one can philosophize in the kitchen or even philosophize while cooking (…) Long life to this Raison Gourmande in the flesh!" "Raison gourmande" at Beaulieu
Titulaire de la carte professionnelle délivrée par
la Préfecture des Alpes maritimes 10555 (5952T)
Caisse de garantie GALIAN n° 26864, 89 rue de la Boétie, 75008 Paris
TVA intracommunautaire FR 473839 50003 | déclaration CNIL n°1768278