Behind the flavours of the Jardin de l’Abbaye restaurant

Marie-Léa Coulon, the talented head chef at the gourmet restaurant Le Jardin de l’Abbaye, tells us all about her career, her role and her vision of cooking.


What was your career path before joining Le Jardin de l’Abbaye?

After my bachelor’s degree at the Ferrandi school in Paris, I started my career with an internship and a first job with Olivier Roellinger in his restaurant** Le Coquillage in Cancale. I then worked in the kitchens of the Christopher Coutanceau Relais & Châteaux*** restaurant in La Rochelle. My last job before joining Le Jardin de L’Abbaye was as second chef at Didier Méril’s restaurant in Dinard.

What made you want to join the hotel ?

I came to visit the hotel and really liked the place and the concept. I started out as a kitchen second for the chef Romain Verzi and it was a great opportunity! Today I became head chef of the kitchen. I create the menu and I put it into practice in the kitchen. For the produce, we work directly with producers, most of whom are located 10 minutes from the restaurant. This allows us to order the right quantities and avoids wastage.


What products do you work with in the restaurant?

We work a lot with fish and seafood delivered by DistriMalo, who offer us quality products in season. With DistriMalo, there’s no question of having spider crab in July and August, when it’s no longer in season! We also work with local meats and vegetables.

I like to work with herbs so that the menu we offer and the name of the restaurant are really consistent. We have a vegetable garden here and we use it every day to cook. In fact, I’ve made a herbarium so that our staff can learn about herbs and flowers… and talk to customers about them!

What’s your favourite product to highlight?

I really enjoyed working with rhubarb and its acidity last spring. It was used as a dessert in combination with corn. Confit, ice cream, compote and coulis: it was rhubarb “in all its states”!

> Discover the restaurant’s philosophy and menus

Le Jardin de l’Abbaye