Fine cut: meeting Benjamin Darnaud, the chef butcher behind Viande & Chef
- Butcher Chef based in Paris
- Dry aged meat from carefully sourced animals
- Nose to tail cuisine
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How to make the world a better place?
‘Killing an animal is not a simple act,’ says butcher and chef Benjamin Darnaud, ‘so we need to consume it responsibly.’
All of which explains why he stocks only one animal at a time at his bijou butchery Viande & Chef in Paris’s buzzy Canal St Martin quarter. ‘We are trying to work as much as possible with the whole animal,’ Benjamin Darnaud says, explaining why a new carcass isn’t ordered till every cut has been sold or turned into one of Benjamin Darnaud’s cult favourite savoury sausages flavoured with paprika and roasted garlic, or juniper and rosemary.
Understanding food and make a change
‘The modern food model is very weak because the meat industry wants its produce very quickly, so it changes the cattle’s genetics and their feed. Corn?’ he says, letting off an exasperated expletive.
Though just 31-years old, Darnaud wears his old-fashioned insistence that meat, its provenance and treatment deserve respect with an unexpectedly mature – even cocky – confidence that comes from having trained from the start with the very best in the business including Michel Bras and Arnaud Daguin.
And sharing love for food
And customers – including the Philippe Starcks and David Lynch who are clients of Darnaud’s private catering and consultancy – are responding. All day, regulars stream in from the neighbourhood and greater Paris to inspect the day’s cuts from grass-fed Aubracs and the like, or to pick up some house-made basting fat infused with herbs and spices.
Moreover, Benjamin Darnaud is particularly enthusiastic about mature animals for their deeper flavours, colours and textures. ‘Last week, we got an 11-year old cow from a farm in north-west France. Indeed, The meat isn’t fatty because they move all the time from prairie to prairie. I am constantly discovering different parts of the animal that can be interpreted into tasty food. I want to encourage people to think differently about cooking, local farming, and how they use the animal.’
Most of it, everything Started in 2000 when he was 15 :
– Mariottt at Agen 1 michelin star Apprentissage during two years
– Thierry Marx Pauillac 2 years ( preparation to the Bocuse d’or, meilleur apprenti de france, olympiade metiers)
– Michel Bras Michelin star chefs for 2 years
– Head food organisor for food fair Omnivore France during 5 years ( new york first event)
– Potel&Chabot ( chef Roland Garros, Russia, private Gasto Event )
– First Company, Private chef & Event
– TV show for kids Gulli 80 shows
– Published a book With Hachette Pratique
– Top Chef TV show
– Ambassador for different brands ( Tefal-Mark&spencer in FR…)
– France 2 Morning Tv SHow
– A lot of travel in between for food event Meeting New chefs
– Started Consulting ( Wanderlust- pressing- Favela Chic- Silencio Paris)
– Open farm Community ( Identity Manager)
– Taste Hunters 15 country visited ( sold in 2010)
– France 5 Taste hunters season 2
– Viande & chef settled in 2015