Growing up in Alsace, France, Chef Stephane was introduced to the idea of ‘farm-to-table’ dining at a very young age — long before the term became popular, this was all he knew! “My maman used to take me to the farmer’s market in our town. We’d walk down the hill to the church parking lot probably 4 times a week with all of our neighbors, it’s a very common practice in a community where most people only have the equivalent of a mini-fridge for storing food.’ He distinctly remembers the earthy, funky smells of the fresh goat cheese — his favorite, along with the array of cured meats on display.
It was also a treat to tag along to the butcher’s shop, where each child would always receive a freshly-boiled knackwurst to eat with dijon mustard while their parents shopped. According to Stephane, “the trick to making the perfect knackwurst — one with a crispy skin that pops when you bite into it — is to throw salt in the boiling water right before you add the sausage.”
The influence of his upbringing is still apparent in Chef’s cooking style and philosophy today, and certain lessons have endured. On the Mister A’s Mother’s Day menu this year, the herb späetzle featured with our entrées is a nod to the woman who raised him to appreciate fresh and thoughtful food: “It’s my mother’s recipe, and I’ve never written it down anywhere because I know it by heart — 1 kilo flour, 10 eggs, 1/2 liter of water, salt, pepper, grated fresh nutmeg and herbs.”