Yesterday posted a short profile of chef Bruno Davaillon of The Mansion on Turtle Creek in which he discussed his farm background and rise to success as a chef. Today we ask the chef a few questions to get an idea of some of his passions in life. Tomorrow Davaillon prepares one of his menu items, which he assures us will be simple to replicate at home and packed with flavor.
CoA: What is the best dish you have eaten? Davaillon: My grand aunt pit-roasted whole suckling pig with potato puree, roasting jus and rosemary. It's a childhood memory. Everything was from the garden, and I still remember the taste. Simplicity at its best.
CoA: What chef would you most like to work with and why? Davaillon: I have so many I'd like to work with, but I really admire Bernard Pacaud at L'Ambroisie in Paris for the way he's mastered simplicity and integrity for the past 25 years. He has three Michelin Stars, but you never hear from him.
CoA: Where do you get your inspiration? Davaillon: Seasons, traveling, going to produce markets, reading and talking with other chefs.
CoA: Do you have a favorite wine? Davaillon: I like Alsatian wines, Burgundy wines and Loire Valley wines, where I'm from [Bourgeuil, Chinon, Vouvray, Montlouis].
CoA: President Obama was in Dallas recently, what would you cook for him? Davaillon: In this hot Dallas summer, I would do a marinated heirloom tomato salad with tomato-basil granite and ricotta crostini, followed by a simply grilled lobster with herb butter, chickpea spread and frisee. For dessert, a refreshing Texas peach sundae with caramelized almonds.
CoA: What is the oddest customer request you have had lately? Davaillon: Somebody asked for sweet raspberry vinaigrette with our King Crab Cobb Salad.
CoA: What is the last book you read? Davaillon: Medium Raw from Anthony Bourdain.
CoA: What is one thing you hope to accomplish that you haven't yet? Davaillon: Spend more time with my family.
CoA: Do you have any food trend predictions? Davaillon: No, I don't really follow the trends. For me, there are only two types of food: the good one and the bad one. Whatever the concept, the keys to great food are execution, technique and passion.
CoA: What was your childhood ambition? Davaillon: Travel and discover the world.
CoA: What is the worst dish you have tasted? Davaillon: I don't remember. I have a tendency to remember the ones I love.
CoA: If you could master one sport what would it be? Davaillon: Motorbike racing or sailboat racing. Anything with speed involved.
CoA: What is the best music to cook by? Davaillon: It depends on the mood. Anything from French music to Led Zeppelin to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.