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Cooking with Richard Toix

Cooking with Richard Toix

Guest chef Richard Toix brings us three delicious recipes to try from his Michelin star restaurant ‘Passions et Gourmandises’

Richard Toix
Richard Toix considers himself to be a self-made chef. Born in Perpignan in 1964, the Michelin starred chef went on to study in a lycée hotelier, earning his first job with the Roux Brothers in London - a restaurant with three Michelin stars - before coming back to work for restaurants across France, picking up the vital tools of the trade along the way. Even as a child, he couldn’t envisage doing any other job. ‘It’s funny really, I never wanted to drive fire engines or be a mechanic; I wanted to cook!’ he says.

His childhood dream of running his own restaurant came true in 1993 when he and his wife Laure opened Le Champ de Foire in Lencloitre, half an hour from Poitiers. They managed to make it a success. But fifteen years later, the couple were ready for a new adventure. Seduced by the charming village of Saint-Benoit, the Toix decided to buy the Chalet de Venise. And so in May 2007, they opened Passions et Gourmandises, a modern and contemporary restaurant hidden in a little cocoon of nature, just five minutes from the centre of Poitiers and yet surrounded by a river and fields.

The restaurant changes its menu every month, and focuses on the simple cooking of fresh seasonal produce. For the chef, what’s important is the authenticity of the produce, not sauces that can mask their natural flavours. Richard Toix has also collaborated with the contemporary Chinese artist Zhou Tiehai to create 12 desserts, inspired by... and each with the name of a job. The pair were invited to exhibitions in Paris and Shanghai. Passions et Gourmandises gained its first star just nine months after it opened. ‘It’s my biggest source of pride,’ Richard Toix says. ‘After my children, of course!’







Fresh king crab, apple puree, mango and avocado Starter

Serves 4-6

Fresh king crab, apple puree, mango and avocado

For the purée:

4 Granny Smith apples                                                                                                                                  

1 lemon                                                                                                                                               

1 tablespoon of sugar                                                                                                                                   

1 tablespoon of ginger puree

For the crab and vinaigrette:

4 shelled crabs legs                                                                                                                                          

1 teaspoon of ginger puree                                                                                                                       

2 tablespoons of mango vinegar                                                                                                                                  

8 tablespoons of olive oil                 

Salt, pepper

For the guacamole:

1 onion                                                                                                                                                     

2 cloves of garlic                                                                                                                                       

2 very ripe avocados                                                                                                                           

Curry powder, salt, pepper                                                                                                                         

1 tablespoon of olive oil                                                                                                                             

1 lemon                                                                                                                                                     

To serve:

1 mango                                                                                                                                                      

Salad leaves


First cut the crab into 16 pieces and then put in a cool place.

Prepare the vinaigrette: mix the ginger puree, salt, pepper and vinegar                                                        

Add in the olive oil using a whisk and keep in a cool place                                                                           

Make the puree: First wash, peel and core the apples. Slice them into two to three cm cubes and put into  a sturdy, medium sized saucepan. Fill it with water so that the water:apple ratio is 1:2.5. Cook on a medium-low heat. Check the apple regularly to check if they need more water, or if they are cooked. It should take around 30 minutes to get them at the mushy consistency required. Once cooked, take them off the heat. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the apple into a puree consistency. A blender is also an option. When cool add the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of sugar  and 1 tablespoon of ginger puree and mix well.

Prepare a guacamole: Cut each avocado in half, scoop the avocado flesh out of the skins and use a fork to mash the avocados until smooth - some chunks are OK.  Add minced fresh garlic, lemon juice, a bit of curry powder according to your taste, salt, pepper and olive oil.

To serve: Peel the mango and cut it into eight very fine slices, place on a tray. Put the guacamole in a piping bag and place it on to the mango. Wrap the mango round to make cannelloni-like tubes.

Season the crab with the vinaigrette and put it in the middle of the plate

Make a beautiful quenelle of apple puree and arrange the cannelloni of mango and guacamole

Add a few lettuce leaves and season with the vinaigrette

Decorate the plate with a little vinaigrette and a little quenelle of guacamole





Main Course

Bass steak with truffles  Serves 4-6

Bass steak with truffles

6 bass steaks            

500g potato puree               

5cl of gravy                       

2cl of truffle oil                  

24 slices of truffles        

Olive oil, salt, pepper                                  

Brik pastry sheets (two for each person)                 

Agar agar                       

Single cream

Make the potato puree, finish it with the cream, add agar agar and boil.                                            

Add the truffle oil, put it in a siphon and press the lever to release the gas                                                                                   

Fry the brik pastry sheets until brown

Cook the bass steaks in the olive oil, season and serve on to hot plates                                                                                                                                     

Roll the pastry into tubes and insert the puree inside using a piping bag (Alternatively, lay the pastry sheets flat next to the dish.)  Then place on the plate next to the bass                                                          

Decorate the plate with the gravy and arrange the truffles on the bass steaks and then salt them lightly






Sabotajnik cheesecakeServes 4-6

Sabotajnik cheesecake

 For the biscuit base:

200g of Petit Lu biscuits

200g of softened butter


Warm the softened butter in a pan and mix with the biscuits.

Spread the mixture onto the bottom of a tin and put in a cool place


For the cheesecake topping:

700g Philadelphia cheese

500g of double cream

200g of sugar

85g packet jelly (flavour of your choice)

2 teaspoons of gelatine

1 cup boiling water


Whisk the cheese, cream and sugar together and pour onto the biscuit base

Put it in the fridge to set

For the jelly topping, mix the packet of jelly with one cup of boiling water ( or as per the packet instructions) and add two teaspoons of gelatine. When the jelly is cool and the cream on the cheesecake is set pour it on top of the topping and put back in the fridge to set.

Decorate with a little fruit of your choice.


Originally published in Living Poitou-Charentes magazine

 Find Richard Toix at: 

Passions et Gourmandises                                                                                                         

6 rue du Square 86280                                                                                                                             


05 49 61 03 99