“ With my career, the link between cheese and philosophy remains an enigma, yet philosophical reflection does exist. For the cheese embodies two fundamental philosophical theories; those of determinism and education. And we can meditate on its transformation observing how with the genetic origins of the animal that produced the milk, the climatic and geographic conditions, and then the parameters of hydrometry, we obtain a solid material that has different tastes, textures and fragrances, from one season to another. Cheese is also a miraculous product when we know how to work it, because if we raise it well, we will get flavors that will take our customers taste buds on a euphorique journey. Then we are in the enjoyment of life and the constant quest for the quintessence of the taste to perfect ourselves and our daily life. Cheese brings this philosophy because it is a true, authentic and living product. The education of cheese, therefore, is its maturation. And this is an artistic job indeed like a painter who sculpts a flavor. Of course, originally, the product has to be excellent but then, there is a parallel with the wine, which also ripens and develops its aromas over time. Then, we get a quintessence of flavors with associations that can be multiplied indefinitely.
What I love above all is diversity, because it brings an authentic richness that makes each experience unique. Yes, a cheese is like a human being. It has a personality of its own and it is from this particularity that a global unity springs forth. If one takes the Reblochon, for example, from one producer to another, it will have a different taste quality, because there is behind the terroir and a whole chain of production; from pasture to milk, then the quality of the beast until production and refining. All this journey is essential and the authenticity is there, at every step. When you get up at five in the morning with the farmer to attend the milking of the cows, and then you see him walking his animals lovingly from one plot to another to have a fragrant milk, it changes your way of tasting the final product and appreciate it. That’s why I have no prior knowledge about the choice of labels or the use of associations, and I encourage my clients to discover with their senses by letting themselves be surprised. For example with a Camembert, I will propose a Rolle grape variety that is slightly sweet and rounded on fruit (a half dry to the limit), a farm cider or a white. And not powerful wines as we used to do. The result is a highlight of both wine and cheese that is magical !
It makes me smile, but I am used to saying that one is assured all risks when one comes to my house. Everything is suggested; Nothing is imposed. And I am committed to an alliance because I am here to make the customers discover new flavors. My biggest pride was to have made blocked people eat cheese and make them love it. I am somewhere with my concept and my products, a taste therapist, and I love this mission because the approach is always humble, curious, without preconceived ideas, like little children who marvel at what they get in mouth. In short, we must remain open and receptive, and this is what will make the authenticity last.
So, what is the relationship with luxury? For me, true luxury is not in packaging and ostentatious, but in truth, purity and endurance products. Because when the taste is persistent then it is authentic. I am increasingly getting oriented in my research on forgotten, rare and indigenous grape varieties. There is a whole set of flavors that express the true richness of a terroir. We close our eyes, we taste this flavor and we are transported in this region. We then travel through the memories. And this is what anchors the experience in us, this sensory memory, which is not theory. Thus, whether they are readable separately or with subtle alliances, it is an explosion of taste at each time and an apprenticeship that makes us see life differently, in a state of permanent grace and gratitude.
I would like each customer to leave this place with the conviction that a flavor also needs our inner look that does not stop at appearances. For as long as one has not dissected the inside of a flavor, one will not have tasted its expression and one will not know what it is worth. I always bind the laws of nature and flavors. They are really the foundation of reality. And luxury is to get to the bottom of things, to discover the essence that is revealed and the hidden treasure. Then, there is nothing more beautiful than to taste the authenticity of a being, a flavor and an encounter ! ”
Interview held by Carine Mouradian on September 27, 2017, in Paris
Link to the website of Fil’O’Fromage
Read also the Portrait of Clément Chérif Boubrit