Originally from Morbihan, in the end Bruno Oger chose the Côte d’Azur and a sunny cuisine for his charming La Bastide du Cannet. Follow the journey of a Breton chef:
Georges Blanc, an invaluable mentor
Bruno Oger's parents owned a brasserie in Lorient in Morbihan, Brittany. He grew up among the customers and cooking smells. "I've always wanted to do this!" In 1984, he got his vocational qualification in Dinard and had his first experience in Château de Locguénolé next to Lorient. 1987 was a decisive year, the one in which he met Georges Blanc. Firstly, he worked in his illustrious 3-starred restaurant in Vonnas in the north of Lyon. At his side, he discovered a real culinary sensitivity and learnt to respect produce and its origins: in this land of a thousand flavours, he cooked Bresse chicken, frogs’ legs, kebabs, etc.
Two years later, the chef offered him the chance to go to Bangkok at Mandarin Oriental. "We did the menus together via fax! All the produce was imported (the poultry, the turbot, and the artichokes), everything took a long time back then!" In 1993, the chef entrusted him with the responsibility of the kitchens in Vonnas as an executive chef. At the same time, they travelled the world together to promote the region's cuisine. "During these trips, I was able to appreciate the man behind the great chef."
The Cannes Adventure
So Bruno Oger headed south and packed his bags for Cannes. "What struck me when I arrived was the light at noon! We were in December, I was leaving Vonnas in the fog and I arrived to wonderful sunshine!" Diane Barrière-Desseigne entrusted him with the difficult but exciting task of creating a gourmet restaurant for her luxury hotel Le Majestic in La Croisette.
Bruno Oger therefore found out about managing an entire hotel, from gourmet dining to the bar and from room service to the events side of things. Very quickly, the chef and his team gained a Michelin star. "To get a second star, we decided to change the concept of La Villa des Lys, by giving it a separate, more defined space, with 50 covers and a kitchen of its own.”
On the produce side, the chef adapted to the region and the diet of the southern French. "I gave up the butter and cream and took up olive oil!" At Le Majestic, he also organised his first great galas for the Cannes Festival. For its 50th anniversary, he and his team organised an exclusive lunch for 60 people (including the award-winning artists and Jacques Chirac!) followed by an 800 cover dinner served in an hour! "We weren't stressed as we were well organised. It was positive adrenaline!”
On his own two feet
After 14 years in the hotel industry, Bruno Oger desperately wanted his own project. Charmed by the Côte d’Azur, he took the decision, with his family, to set up on his own and found Le Cannet, an old 18th century building, listed as a Historical Monument, in tree-lined grounds of 5000m2. "I wanted to stay close to La Croisette and maintain a strong link to the Cannes Festival.”
In May 2010, La Bastide Bruno Oger was born and offered three experiences in a single place: a 26 cover gourmet restaurant with town house charm, a cosy bistro for 110 people and a more pop style bar! "My wife played a crucial role. She set the tone for the design and the atmospheres of the different places. She picked up on the slightest details from day to day and checked all the dishes with each change of the season.” The gourmet restaurant, which now enjoys two stars, also offers its exceptional meals on a shaded terrace under the lime trees.
In the bistro, the menu offers a choice of 8 starters and 8 seasonal dishes. "It is a Provençal cuisine with light dishes suited to the region and our customers, like the Riviera Salad with perfectly grilled tuna!" And, above all, don't skip the dessert, it is served on a trolley!
3 words or adjectives to describe your cuisine?
"Produce - Cooking - Taste"
Inspiration to find new dishes?
"The producers and seasonality. I go to choose my vegetables in Saint-Laurent du Var and the inspiration for the dish comes from this selection! I also like to get some fresh air with my family on the Lérins islands, picnicking in the Esterel massif and in the gorges of Pennafort where my phone does not get any signal, or in the countryside around Mougins!”
La Bastide Bruno Oger
Rue de l'Ouest
06110 Le Cannet