Authenticity according to Steven and Marjorie Naessens, a taste of sharing in Michelin star haute cuisine

Steven and Marjorie Naessens - Maison Jeunet“ Simplicity and sharing is the basis of everything, and that’s what motivates us in our business. The best time we live here is when we go around the room and see our customers satisfied and happy. This means we managed to transmit our emotions and the bet is won! To do this requires high quality products and, at the same time, a destitution of our preconceived ideas to work by the product itself, and this is the way authenticity can be revealed. It’s the product that guides us. And I let myself be guided by the matter that I see and that I feel, so that the magic operates and our creation springs out in an inspired way. With experience, I have the ability now to feel the right associations, even before starting the tests. When I get finally what I felt, it’s a big joy in the kitchen and I’m like a kid savoring my victory. Cooking is above all a way of personal expression because we start from our experience, with desires nourished by our own experiences of life, our encounters and nature itself, with the rythms of seasons. But it is also a fun, while measuring the importance of our work, because the act of eating is essential in human life. So we have this incredible chance to have a direct recognition, giving not only something that is vital, but also a lot of pleasure.

Our cuisine is mainly based on the products of the Jura, a beautiful region, both wild and authentic, and we learned a lot in contact with the winemakers, local producers and farmers. This is our source of inspiration, and our days off, we leave with our little girl, and take relaxing walks among beautiful landscapes. We are then appeased and feel the calming influence of nature to give again the best of ourselves the days of service. True luxury is in this balance; sharing simple moments with family. For example, you can improvise a picnic with slices of home-baked grilled bread and nice slices of ham bought along the way. It’s also when we gather around a big table with the family and the people we love. We will cook together, test recipes, share happiness: preparing Steven’s stew or having a little touch in the final sauce. These are unforgettable moments!

The spirit of our house is to welcome everyone in simplicity so that our customers would feel “like home”. The best compliment we received one day is to say, “It’s five o’clock and we’re still seated. We feel so good here.” We want to give rise to this positive emotion, and nothing else! Everything is done with simplicity: the announcement of dishes and the restaurant service. There are so many people who appreciate this being natural! We also welcome every guest in mutual respect, honoring only their desire to enjoy a good meal. Last year, for example, we had a group of hikers coming down the mountain who wanted to stop by and share a good time in our restaurants. We also want to democratize gastronomy on special occasions. For example, we participate at the “Passe ma main Malin” regional event, which consist of offering a meal for a meal purchased, with our first lunch menu. Many people are surprised that a starred restaurant is opening its doors as well; however, it is so rewarding to have customers who can afford this pleasure once a year. Authentic luxury is when we serve people with the same care regarding their appearance, status or titles or when we allow normal people to afford a gourmet meal. That’s why, one of our dreams would be to have one day a bistro, next door, where we can offer the best typical dishes for less than 15 euros. What a joy it would be to have in one place all these people together, of all social classes!

In our business, we need consistency and irreproachable quality, because our emotions go on the plate. That’s why, the moment I pass the door of the kitchen, I’m in another world, and there, with the whole team, we give the best of ourselves with the highest level of professionalism. Our teams do not get enough of thanks, like it should be. We work like a human body: the cooks are the heart, and everyone else contributes in their place to make the whole thing work. And we need to challenge ourselves constantly and want to always go towards more excellence. Today we are serene and confident, because we know that it is our personal cuisine that we finally propose, and that it will evolve over time. In the end, authenticity is wanting to be like no one else but ourselves, because each of us is unique. And the real reward is to continue to fulfill this desire, and that our hosts tell us: we have never seen this elsewhere!”

 

Interview held by Carine Mouradian on March 27, 2018, in Paris

Link to the website of Maison Jeunet

Read also the portrait of Steven and Marjorie Naessens

About Carine Mouradian

My core goal is to reveal the authentic luxury through the portraits of passionnate people that I meet during my travels. With their unlimited creativiy, their deep convictions and their know-how between tradition and innovation, they work daily to build the ultimate customer experience that gives meaning and emotions.

Leave a Reply