La Crème de la Crème – Samurai of MHV, Bertrand Group: “We have to rely on the expertise of our suppliers” | Gilles Pudlowski’s blog

Marc-Henri Verge, © Maurice Rougemont

Marc-Henri Verge aka “MHV”? He is the shadow man of the Bertrand group, who screws the bolts, rewards good and bad points, corrects quality where he intervenes. A brasserie at a station, a century-old establishment, a specialist in sauerkraut, offal or fish, everywhere the MHV leaves its mark. This native of Cotonou, at a time when Benin was still called Dahomey – his father, a native of Béarn, like his mother, had an industrial bakery there – was a born hard worker who was never unstoppable from his beginnings. He began his career at Potel & Chabot in 1990 at a fast pace. He stayed there for ten years, along with Jean-Pierre Biffy, who worked at Crillon with the Constant team (“ A great trainer“, he notes with respect), rubbed shoulders with the world of haute gastronomy and contributed to the opening of the Four Seasons George V in 2000 as assistant chef to the austere Philippe Legendre. The rest we know: they won, just two years later, the 3-star’s highest debut.

Delivery of a line shaft from St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie © MR

MVH would then be chef at Fauchon for three years. He then joined Groupe Bertrand in 2012 (“ By a bit of luck… it was a question of replacing… “). He became its executive chef since 2015. He is still present every day, navigating from one house to another, overseeing a total of nearly 1,000 units, including 22 prestigious brasseries in Paris. He designs all menus respecting the diversity of brands that make this heavyweight restaurant. responsible for making which ranges from historic and legendary places (La Coupole to Lorraine, Leap to Vaudeville, Terminus Nord to Bofinger, not forgetting Pied de Cochon and Alsace on the Champs-Elysées), trendy restaurants (PVH, Sir Winston , Polpo, Auteuil Brasserie, Ile in Issy-les-Moulineaux, Copenhagen) and more standard ones such as Au Bureau, Léon (formerly Léon de Bruxelles), Barts, Volfoni or Hippo.

In the kitchen © MR

For this native woodman, Rungis is better than a transit point or a myriad of beautiful addresses, but ” A gold mine“…” It’s wonderfulhe said It is both Europe’s largest market, A pool of enthusiasts who bring the best products from small producers and are a constant source of inspiration both serious and creative.. I go there regularly to immerse myself, get inspired and discuss with partners to create future recipes. It often happens to me that a supplier challenges me: ” Here, Mark, I have this prime rib – and I answered him and went behind the workbench ” Can you cut it for me? » My view of things is that we must rely on the expertise and know-how of our suppliers »

Petit Victor-Hugo with team © MR

Groupe Bertrand’s favorite of the moment? This is undoubtedly Little Victor Hugo, aka PVH. This grand seaside house with a chic and bright ambiance visited by beloved decorator Laura Gonzalez is located on the chic 16th, Avenue Victor Hugo, steps from the Saint-James Hotel, Avenue Bougeude, Relais and Châteaux jewels and table stars, Olivier Bertrand in his own name. owned by ” In HPVRating MHV, We are committed to promoting an environmentally-responsible nautical menu with seasonal produce. We respect seasons, fishing areas with specific characteristics. ” Its No. 1 supplier?” Demarne frères which perfectly meets our specifications. It is the preferred and trusted partner for fish and seafood products. It’s also the one who supplies Léon (like oysters, like lobster) and Parisian brasseries like Lorraine, Bofinger or Terminus Nord… For PVH, he supplies beautiful amberjack, line-fishing sea bass from St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, line-fishing fish. »…

Line-caught sea bass tartare, Osetra caviar, isogni cream © MR

And to add MHV: ” They force the proposal: every morning, they call the head of PVH and we work with our purchasing department on the best products of the moment according to the verified arrivals and ingredients. ” Beyond Rungis, he directly believes Renaud Siegrist, a fishmonger from Lokmariakar in Morbihan who “ Providing clams, giant cockles, he picks them up and refines them, ready for use. ” For meat, he works with Bissonnette of Boucheries Nivernais. ” They bring their animals, carcasses, turn them. It cuts at 4am, with exceptional craftsmanship and beautiful products. ” For fruits and vegetables, he trusts Charray and their Vergers Saint-Eustache— One of their policies has long focused on small producers, be it herbs or all categories of products. »…

Bass with Porcini Mushroom and Shellfish Emulsion © MR

For spice, he turns to spice: “ORecipes created together, they have an excellent range of products, varied, rich, meeting all needs “At Les Champignons des Bois, features autumn produce, oyster mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms.” Always at the top of the genre ” And outside Rongis, the fruits and vegetables of Laurent Berurier, with his extraordinary vegetable garden under the sign “Boots en Ville” in the Val d’Oise, are among his trusted homes. For sauerkraut, fine charcuterie products and sausages from Chedeville (which Lipp’s famous stuffed pigs (also supplied by Trotter). Bertrand Group’s stated purpose for the brewery world is simple: ” Inseparable from the capital’s gourmet soul, this historic brasserie aims to recapture Parisian clientele with quality and low prices.e by the wayHe added, Even in these times of inflation, we are honored not to increase our prices because we love to have a full restaurant. ” In total, a dozen people work in the “purchasing” department, spread over five main areas: fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and seafood…. They are the ones who negotiate on a daily basis the wishes expressed by the chefs and the needs of their menus.

Fig Tart, Creamy White Chocolate © MR

For Parisian brasseries and restaurants, menus are renewed four times a year according to the seasons. » Also with one-time operations that can be prolonged, like the Lobster Mac’n Cheese that we launched at Polpo and which has been a huge success. » As for the design and development of the map, it is “a permanent exchange. “Even if MHV defines the benefits of a strong autonomy to create culinary adaptations and recipes, it does not advance alone and welcomes the fact that it continues to exist” surrounded by good people ” Thus it permanently depends on the response and expertise of marketing and purchasing people and works together with the heads of various organizations who actively participate in the development of permanent proposals and often express the desire to act as such seasonal products.

Little Victor-Hugo © MR

In addition, each branch has a technical director who guarantees the quality and consistency of the offer (for example, the world of Parisian brasseries has three of them). All the actors involved (chef, technical director, purchasing department, marketing, etc.) are given constant attention to bring the products together. There is a day when we taste the products that fit the menu. It is from there that we engage in recipe development »

Brasserie Lipp: Service © MR

If you ask MHV how he manages to intervene and transition between different universes (from a high-end brasserie to Au Bureau – Hippopotamus or Léon), he answers nonchalantly: “ It always does the same thing, cook it. The limitations are simply not the same. Do not get stuck on important things, always keep this creative side and try to create this little click in the client. The important thing is to position yourself well, understand what the diner expects and give him a different experience.. At Bertrand Group, we are constantly trying new things. If it doesn’t work, we change

Dome Service © MR

Chase LeonHe also mentions, We have just finalized the winter menu which I am very proud of and which testifies to the fine development of the brand. There is an excellent gratin of oysters with parmesan, maroilles croquettes, a maroilles burger but also a sole meunière from Demarne and lobster, haddock gratin with spinach mushrooms.” Between the awakening of sleeping beauties and new ideas, the Bertrand Group, reviewed by MVH Stove Samurai, seems to be pulling a locomotive upwards. Dynamic brands and franchises are developing, such as “Au Bureau” which now has more than 180 establishments across France. Also Note the strong growth of the Italian concept “Volfoni”, born in Boulone, and which now displays 15 units.

Service at Lipp © MR

For the latter, a Major sourcing tasks Specifically to best support this ambition,” Great product ” selected directly with small Italian producers but also with longstanding complications with partner and Rungis specialist Carniato. In short, nothing can escape clever MVHs who don’t stay in place and whose location you don’t really know. ” There is so much to do and so much to seeHe notes, That my job is above all to link, listen, understand and communicate... »

Standby service at Coupole © MR

Little Victor Hugo – PVH

143 Avenue Victor Hugo
Paris 16
For example. 01 83 26 00 01
food: 25 (source, lunch), 29 (lunch)
Map: 45-75 €
Schedule: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m
Closed weekly. : Open daily
Nearest Metro(s): Pump Street

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