Few chefs are as passionately committed to their terroir and their environment as Christophe Hay, owner of La Maison d'à Côté in Montlivault, of Côté Bistrot in the same village, and of La Table d'à Côté near Orléans. First a companion of chef Éric Reithler at Au Rendez-Vous des Pêcheurs in Blois, then of Paul Bocuse at Epcot Center, Florida, he has the dual experience of being an expat chef and, after his return to France, of growing new roots in his native region. From his childhood in the Loire valley, he learned a lasting and profound lesson about respect, caring for others, and a constant search for peace -- the very peace one feels contemplating the beautiful Loire river.
All the local products -- game from the Chambord forest, fish from the Loire, Vineuil white asparagus, wild mushrooms, wagyu beef, géline de Touraine heirloom chicken, or Sologne caviar -- are to him and his team
like a painter's palette, through which they reveal the culinary identity of the Jardin de la France, the other name of the Loire valley.