For starred chef René Mathieu, the forest is a source of culinary inspiration


Michelin-starred chef René Mathieu is tackling global warming at his restaurant in Bourglinster, Luxembourg. He only cooks vegetarian dishes and almost exclusively uses local products to create his menus.

The restaurant, called La Distillerie, is located in the heart of the Luxembourg forest. It got a lot of attention this year after the chef’s decision to completely exclude animal products from the menu.

Instead, Mathieu begins his days among the trees surrounding the castle which houses the famous restaurant. He collects greenery, such as fir and holly leaves, which he uses to make unique culinary concoctions.

His daring decisions have been rewarded by the We’re Smart® Green Guide, a big name in the culinary world of fruit and vegetables. In September, the guide named La Distillerie as the ‘best vegetable restaurant in the world‘for 2020.

“René Mathieu is a pioneer of natural cuisine. It tastefully evokes the ingredients of the fields and forests around Château Bourglinster, ”writes We’re Smart® founder Frank Fol on their website.

Despite the obligation to close for two weeks due to the pandemic, Mathieu sees the current health crisis as an opportunity.

“It allows you to refocus on yourself, to be able to think, to think differently, to reinvent yourself,” he says. “What’s the kitchen of tomorrow? What are we going to do to prevent this from happening again?” he adds, hoping it helps change the way people see things.


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