He arrived in “Top Chef” with a “fat is life” t-shirt, which seduced Philippe Etchebest and offered a “sexy and dirty” cuisine, which he knew how to refine over the course of the episodes. Mickaël Braure, 33, has often shone in fourteen weeks of competitions, particularly with the precision of his cooking. The “king of the kitchen” impressed with a celery and caramelized apple kebab, a steak on the last occasion – the jury’s favorite – or a beef heart, Adrien Cachot’s favorite.
Five team victories, including the restaurant war with Arnaud Delvenne and Wilfried Romain, three individually, two of which last … go all the way. But it’s the slight overcooking of a sweetbread that makes him stumble …
In this last episode one gets the impression that everything comes from a little too careful cooking of the sweetbreads. And it’s happening to you, the pastry king …
MICKAEL BRAURE. In “Top Chef”, we can’t afford to lose it, that’s all. We are in a prestigious competition, with great chefs: the slightest misstep is unforgiving. I assume this overcooking.
You could have qualified from the first event on Wednesday …
I believed it. The feedback on my dish was great, there was just this little overcooking … and again, with the sauce, it was fine. For me, therefore, it is the pot that will make me win. And then no.
Do you have any regrets?
On this cooking yes, because it is a breath … I would have cooked it thirty seconds less, it was won and I was quartered …
At the time of elimination, what’s on your mind?
I am disappointed not to continue the adventure, necessarily. I would have been in the end, I was on a good run. But there you have it, a little bit of weakness and bim, you’re out. I tell myself that the fifth is already very good. I never thought I’d get this far. Upon arrival, my goal was not to leave the first week. However, I am proud of the result: 5th place is a fantastic place.
What has changed in your approach to cooking since then?
I haven’t changed my kitchen and I’m not going to change it. Especially since to the “Top Chef” I presented a cuisine that I know how to do, that I learned to do, that I like to do, but that I don’t do in my restaurant. It is much more of a bistro, with a more peasant cuisine focused on the product, while as a “Top Chef” the approach is much more gastronomic, more visual and refined.
Are there dishes presented by “Top Chefs” that you would like to offer in your restaurant?
There are things that more or less I have already offered at the restaurant, I have simply improved and pushed the recipe to the level of “Top Chef”. Almost everything I presented was what I had already more or less worked and experienced. I simply tailored the dishes to suit the tastes of great chefs.
What memorable memories do you keep?
Yeah, the encounters with all these chefs that I could never meet for the most part, and then the restaurant war we won with Arnaud and Wilfried. It was a big hassle and a great time of fun, sharing.
You are now stamped “Top Chef”. What changes daily?
It gives a life a little faster, a life at 100 per hour (laughs). More appointments, more requests, more bookings. I used to manage them weekly, now I manage them monthly. It is inevitably more disappointing for my clients when they realize there is a four month wait.
What are your projects?
Since the former is no longer enough, we are working to open a new structure in the coming months, in a farmhouse that we are renovating. It will be a more bistronomic cuisine, closer to what I was able to do as a “Top Chef”. There will be a part of the sausage bar, not like at Philo Saucisse, but rather in the form of tapas around a good wine or beer that we will make on site, and the part of the restaurant.
A word about the last four candidates?
Pascal is my son on the show. I like it very much, tomorrow is very big, it is certain that we will hear about it. Sebastian is my friend. We share the same values, we are from the same region, I really appreciate his cuisine, we have worked with the same chefs, even together. I love it and it’s so touching. Louise, she is perched. There are so many things that go through her head, she is creative, she has a thousand ideas per second, she is an artist. And then Arnaud, the funny, the braggart with great sensitivity. He is an extremely nice guy.