“I was in love with the goat: irrational, prankster, liar, in love…”

“I lived in the countryside for a long time before making my urban exodus and I have always had a connection with the mountains, with nature and with simple foods. When I was a child, at home, nobody cared much about cooking, and my mother, very feminist, least of all. She is part of this generation that has seen her mother cook for seven every day of her life and for whom frozen food and the microwave are a celebration, a liberation.

My father did a little cooking on the weekends when we got together, and my mother, during the week, worked in phases. I feel like she fed us salty cake for two years, then risotto and vegetable soup for long periods of time. Coming from a very modest family, she was very thrifty, she didn’t spoil anything and on Sunday nights we always ate leftovers.

I started studying psychology because I didn’t know what else to do. I also worked in the social sector with reintegration centers and job assistance. I wanted to take a CAP in cooking, then go into horticulture after visiting a farm. When I told my thesis advisor that I wanted to take a break, he told me: “ Pierre, you have to decide, it’s psychology or goats!” Laughing, I replied: So it’s the goats! ”

Alone with 60 goats

I did not know it at the time, I had not thought about agriculture at all, but I dedicated myself to agricultural studies, I became an apprentice on a farm at 25 and, little by little, I came to goats. He had a real crush on the beast: irrational, trickster, liar, in love… Difficult to handle, but so endearing.

I started alone, with a herd of sixty biquetas, in Loire-Atlantique. I got up at 4 in the morning to milk, I made cheese, I sold in the market, I was happy. And then I took on a partner, we expanded, we built another building, and all of a sudden, we screwed up. It was then that I decided to leave the campaign. I worked with like-minded Parisians, then for eight months wandered around to learn the trade, the different cheese-making traditions and techniques.

Also read: Express fondue: the recipe of the cheesemaker Pierre Coulon

Berthoud is a dish that I discovered when working in the mountain pastures. Less well-known than raclette or fondue, even more simple and rustic, this ancient Haute-Savoie recipe has its roots in Chablais at the beginning of the 20th century.me century. It is named after the eponymous family of restaurateurs in Thonon-les-Bains, who offered this dish with melted, grilled Abondance cheese in individual cups, served in a corner of the bar.

I like this type of cuisine, easy, obvious, but with history. Berthoud highlights a fairly unknown cheese, and you can add any Madeira, the old bottle that’s in the cupboards, and nutmeg. You come across this spice from time to time, but in the mountain pastures they put it everywhere: it is really mountain pepper, although nutmeg does not grow in Savoy. »

The Paris Dairy74 rue des Poissonniers, Paris 18me.

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