3 recettes de grands chefs

3 Clean Eating recipes from top chefs

We often think that fine dining fare is too rich, too convoluted, and that Michelin-starred chefs’ meals go on for ever. In fact, chefs are keen on promoting the use of fresh ingredients, short supply chains, variety, balance, and increasingly, simplicity. Here’s the proof in three examples.

New-generation chefs, who are keen to stay close to nature, have plotted their career paths along healthy eating principles. Often they are even primarily naturopaths, nutritionists or dieticians, and put eating plans together to guide their patients onto the path of clean eating. Some are at the helms of well-known restaurants, while others run newer eateries or head up restaurants within healthcare establishments like seawater therapy or mineral water therapy spas. In the latter case, their mission is clearly to make people feel like eating healthily! And what is even more tantalising for our tastebuds is that top restaurant chefs are increasingly into Clean Eating. And for good reason: they favour the use of fresh ingredients and short supply chains, treat their smallscale suppliers well and keep their dishes balanced. Even when they serve fried foods, they do so without excess and with a close eye on the acid-alkaline balance. Here, three chefs each bring you a recipe to follow this summer, right up until the Indian summer rolls around with its beautiful sunny September days. Naturally, those that made it through the selection process involve fish and sun-kissed vegetables. Shopping baskets and ovens at the ready!

1- Our Clean Eating recipe from Pierre Gagnaire, chef of the eponymous Paris restaurant with 3 Michelin stars.

Black sea bream fillets Saint-Germain, slow-cooked leeks with chives,

Diablo sauce.

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 min

Shopping list (serves 8):

  • Fish and garnish:
  • 8 boneless black sea bream fillets of 140 g-160 g each
  • 4 large leeks (white parts only), finely chopped
  • 150 g flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g white breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp chopped chives
  • 100 g fresh butter
  • 40 g olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Diablo sauce (optional)

  • 80 g chopped shallots
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • 100 g white wine
  • 50 g sherry vinegar
  • 200 g non-thickened veal jus 
  • ½ tsp potato starch, mixed with a little water
  • 80 g tomato flesh, minus the skin and seeds, cut into 0.5 cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon 
  • 40 g butter
  • Salt


  1. Fish
    Season the sea bream fillets. Flesh-side down, coat them in the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  2. Slow-cooked leeks
    In a fairly wide saucepan, sweat off the leeks with 40 g butter. Season. Put the lid on the saucepan and leave to stew on a low heat until the leeks are nice and tender, which should take around 20 minutes.
  3. Diablo sauce
    In a saucepan, combine the shallots, pepper, white wine and sherry vinegar. Heat up the mixture until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Rehydrate with the veal jus. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add a little salt. Whisk in the starch to thicken the sauce, mixing it through thoroughly.
  4. Add the tomato and tarragon. Bring back to the boil, then take it off the heat. With a spatula, incorporate the chilled butter bit by bit to yield a smooth sauce. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Set aside in a bain-marie.
  5. Cooking the fish
    Pan fry the sea bream fillets in a mixture of butter and olive oil, starting with the breadcrumbed side, for 3-5 minutes depending on how fast they turn golden. Turn the fish over (so flesh side down) until cooked through, basting it continuously. The idea is to get the skin and the breadcrumb coating crispy.
  6. Serving
    Mix the chives in with the leeks. Serve them up on 8 shallow plates. Place the fish on the side and pour the Diablo sauce around it as a finishing touch.

Excerpt from Les copains d’abord, 80 recettes faciles et conviviales [Friends come first – 80 easy recipes for entertaining], by Pierre Gagnaire, published by Solar

What makes it clean?

Sea bream contains a good amount of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which promote good cardiovascular health. So with this recipe, you load up on them. Sea bream also contains nine amino acids, which play a major role in the formation of digestive enzymes, skin and bone tissue and hormones. As for leeks, they are high in dietary fibre and vitamin C, which is excellent for the immune system and for good iron assimilation. The fish / leek pairing also offers good acid-alkaline balance. The same goes for fresh herbs, which are also high in vitamin C, chlorophyll (an antioxidant) and vitamin K, which is essential to blood clotting.

Our Clean Eating advice +++: Want a different sauce? Replace the veal jus and white wine with a glug of plant-based cream substitute and mix together until combined.

2- Our Clean Eating recipe from Yoni Saada, the chef at the Bagnard, a high-quality street food eatery in Paris with Mediterranean touches – voted Project of the Year by the Gault & Millau

Stuffed aubergines with bruccio, anchovies & pine nuts

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 25 min

Shopping list (serves 4):

  • 12 baby aubergines (or 2 regular aubergines)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 15 g tomato purée
  • 10 g pine nuts
  • 100 g bruccio
  • 1 egg
  • 20 mint leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 sprigs of small-leaf basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C (gas mark 6).
  2. Cut generous tops off the baby aubergines and set the tops aside. With a knife, cross-cut the flesh inside. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the thyme and salt. Bake with the tops for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Peel and finely chop the spring onions and garlic. Pan fry them in olive oil. Add the tomato and pine nuts.
  4. Once the aubergine flesh is nice and tender, use a teaspoon to scoop it out without tearing the skin. Cook the skins in a saucepan in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes to dry them out.
  5. Mix together the fried spring onions and garlic, aubergine flesh, bruccio, chopped mint and egg.
  6. Stuff the baby aubergines with this mixture, put the tops back on and bake for a few minutes until golden and crispy on top.
  7. Serve hot with the fresh basil.

Excerpt from La Grande Bleue [The Big Blue] by chef Yoni Saada, published by Solar.

What makes it clean?

Take it from Yoni: the aubergine, a tasty, fleshy vegetable that’s low-calorie, high in vitamins, dietary fibre and minerals, is one of the emblems of Mediterranean cuisine. The aubergine is the perfect partner for fighting overweight. Low in sodium, high in potassium and water, it’s a great body purifier. It’s even recommended for those suffering from cystitis or other urinary tract infections. Its high dietary fibre content makes it a natural bowel function booster. High in antioxidants and beta-carotene, it’s the ultimate skin beauty vegetable. Its iron content makes it the ideal vegetable in case of anaemia or minor drowsiness.

We like anchovies on account of their high-quality protein and fatty acids, and also the very high amounts of vitamin A, D and B that they contain. A little fish that’s kind to your heart! Bruccio (or brocciu), the emblematic cheese of Corsica, is made from ewes’ or goats’ milk whey, heated to 80° C, to which a little whole milk is added. It is high in calcium, vitamin A and protein.

This recipe, which revolves around aubergine, adds in a great many virtuous ingredients. As well as anchovies and bruccio, there are spring onions (which lower cholesterol and aid digestion), mint (which also aids digestion), pine nuts (high in good fatty acids, phosphorus, iron, potassium and magnesium), garlic (antiseptic), tomato (the lycopene that it contains fights free radicals and supports eyesight). There’s also egg (and its delivery of essential amino acids, which are kind of the body’s building blocks, indissociable from cell function). This mix represents a balanced, comprehensive combination that’s well-liked by fans of healthy Mediterranean cuisine.

Our Clean Eating advice +++: add a mini-portion of rice or bulghur to make it a more filling midday meal, if you have an exercise session in the afternoon, for example.

3- Our Clean Eating recipe from Thierry Marx, the Michelin-starred chef at the helm of the Mandarin Oriental in Paris.

Courgette flower fritters

Serves 4
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10-15 min

Shopping list (serves 4):

  • 16 courgette flowers
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g flour
  • 33 cl chilled water
  • Groundnut or rapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper


Make the batter: beat the eggs, then strain them through a sieve.

  1. Add the flour and mix it in.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and the chilled water, then mix until the consistency reaches that of pancake batter.
  3. Dunk the courgette flowers in the batter, then fry them in the (new) groundnut or rapeseed oil at 150° C.
  4. Leave the fritters to fry for 2-3 minutes, until they are nice and golden, and crispy.
  5. Place them on absorbent kitchen roll to blot away the excess oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Excerpt from Plats de chefs à la maison ! [Chefs’ home cooking!] Published by Solar

What makes it clean?

Even though we are talking “fried food” here, it’s a very controlled process that doesn’t let the vegetable soak up the oil. Not only are courgette flowers pretty, they are also very high in vitamin C and carotenoids, the antioxidant that gives them their orangey colour. The courgette flowers are dunked in egg, which is a source of protein, of choline (in the yolk), which helps support brain function, of vitamins A, D, E and B, and of lutein (the antioxidant found in egg yolk).

Our Clean Eating advice +++: Serve this dish with a green salad, whose alkalinity will offset the acidity of the (albeit light) fried element.

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