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David Royer - Head Chef at Les Orangeries Hotel and Restaurant

David Royer - Head Chef at Les Orangeries Hotel and Restaurant

David Royer, 37, is Head Chef at Les Orangeries Hotel and Restaurant in Lussac-les-Châteaux. He lives locally with Tiina his Finnish wife, and their three children...

 MG 0216Why Poitou-Charentes?

After qualifying, I worked around Europe, starting in Edinburgh for four years where I met Tiina, then two years in London and two years in Tetbury. We moved to Finland for 10 years where I ran my own restaurant in Helsinki, but we decided the time was right to move back to France and so we spent two years working in Paris. When the position at Les Orangeries came up it was perfect and so here we are!


 Tell us about your food

I love cooking local, seasonal food. Here we have such a richness of local products that we can buy from local growers, it is astounding. Normally locavore means within 200km but we don’t travel further than 50km to find everything from saffron to goats’ cheese, wine and flour. On our menu we show where the ingredients have come from. We want to encourage others to buy quality, local produce. Wherever we can, we buy ‘bio’ ingredients but there are many products that are grown to organic standards that don’t have the label as it is expensive to get. We cannot label these as ‘bio’ but we can explain their origins to our customers.


What is your favourite time of year?

It has to be spring with the new vegetables, fresh lamb and all the herbs.


And Raymond Blanc?

We are delighted to have been invited to London in February 2013 for the Sustainable Restaurant Association awards ceremony at the Oxo Tower. Raymond Blanc is their President and we’re looking forward to meeting him. While our Hotel has an eco-label, there is no similar accreditation for restaurants in France and we wanted to see how well we were doing. So we turned to the UK’s SRA and became the first French restaurant to be audited. Of the hundreds of restaurants audited, we came in the top 10 so have been invited to London. We’re not sure what will happen when we are there, so we will have to update you on our return!