The well-known chef Thierry Salas has just opened the doors to Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet in Paris. Good news a few days before the year-end party.
To say that when the holidays approach, Thierry Salas takes advantage of the night to sleep, is a lie. He’s just resting a bit. As every year at this time, his laboratory in Rouffiac-Tolosan, north of Toulouse, is busy. He and his son Romain ended up not counting the hours during these days, which begin long before sunrise. It is at this moment that what becomes a real treasure in their hands is delivered: the smoked salmon. Installed there for twenty-one years, the craftsman has made a name for himself. Going beyond local boundaries, it has attracted large restaurants as well as many delicatessens.
At the Victor Hugo market in Toulouse he also gained a loyal and steady clientele. His latest conquest is Paris. And especially. This is the famous gourmet in Galéries Lafayette. “It’s the good surprise of the year. We have to be even more up to par. That’s why our credo remains quality, achieved thanks to our know-how and our little secrets”, is happy to repeat the sauriseur, who does not hesitate to share some tricks of his subject which has become an art.
“Create an atmosphere”
To get a delicious smoked salmon, which he brings from Scotland and the Faroe Islands, Thierry Salas reminds that “every step is important”. First there is filleting and trimming, then boning, operations that require expert skill. Then we move on to salting with dry salt (here no brine), where the approximate has no place. Then comes desalination and drying, again which must be done with precision as no two fish are alike. Finally comes the smoking, the final stage where talent makes all the difference. “You have to be present and alert. We smoke with selected beech and oak woods. Our personal touch is done with the adjustments. At this point we have to create an atmosphere of cold and hot and find the perfect balance,” explains the master. We know not much more. One thing is certain: the result is magnificent. It offers a wide variety of regular salmon as well as fine signatures that connoisseurs crave: smoked beetroot salmon, horseradish and cardamom syrup; smoked salmon with goji berries, sherry and rose petals; smoked salmon, old fashioned honey mustard and brown mustard seeds; smoked salmon wild garlic and blueberry flowers… The list is of course not exhaustive (1). Other fish such as halibut, trout, haddock, eel… are on the menu. A foie gras, also smoked, has also been one star. With more than a hundred salmon smoked every day and a growing customer base, it’s no surprise that the company is in very good health. To keep it that way, one couldn’t better advise his boss… never to stop to smoke.