<div class="chapeau">FRANÇOIS PINAULT HAS DECIDED TO ENTRUST THE BOURSE DE COMMERCE'S RESTAURANT, WHICH WILL BE LOCATED AT THE TOP OF THE BUILDING, TO RENOWNED FATHER-AND-SON TEAM
MICHEL AND SÉBASTIEN BRAS — THE NEXT STEP IN THEIR IMPRESSIVE CULINARY JOURNEY, WHICH HAS TAKEN THEM FROM THEIR NATIVE AUBRAS REGION TO JAPAN, AND NOW TO PARIS.</div>
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<span class="title">MICHEL ET</span><br>
<span class="title">SÉBASTIEN BRAS</span><br>
<span class="title">À LA BOURSE DE</span><br>
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<span class="alinea"></span>Michel Bras’s story begins in the countryside region of Aubrac. The Bras were cooks for generations—while his father was a blacksmith, his mother, a housewife, was constrained,
for pecuniary reasons, to take a position as a full-time cook. As a child, Michel spent his youth in a furnace—of the forge, the oven, the stove. His character was formed
during long hours of physical labor, fed by the happiness that comes from gathering loved ones around a dinner table. Even as an innocent child, he was able to perceive the magic of
cooking, which he would one day make his own.
<span class="alinea"></span>Michel grew up on this elevated plateau, this rocky climb, whipped by cold winds, in the Alto Braco region, a territory that straddles three départements—Cantal, Lozère, and
Aveyron. The young boy learned to recognize the different wild herbs and flowers that grow there. He developed a strong constitution—of flesh, silence, sky, and earth.
We might encounter the boy running through the green fields, pausing to gather queens-of-the-meadow, sorrel, <i>picolingo</i> stinging his tongue—later, in Vietnam, he would discover
its Asian counterpart, <i>rau-raum,</i> coriander with a sharp flavor. He would gather fresh garlic, fresh goosefoots, following his instincts. He didn’t know it at the time, but he
would eventually bring all those native herbs and plants into his kitchen and use them to flavor his dishes. The Aubrac region, with its powerful alchemy, determined his fate:
he would become a cook.
<span class="alinea"></span>Bras uses the myriad plants and flowers of the region in his cooking: his poetic gastronomy is inspired by the “natural fortress” in which he grew up, “this desert, in which the sky,
minerals, vegetables, everything brings us back to basics.” Twenty-five years ago, with his wife Gi, he took over the premises of Le Délaissé (or the abandoned, the forsaken), so called because
no one was interested in farming the land. Together, Bras would set it on a new path and transform its past.
<span class="alinea"></span>Daringly Bras wanted to convey a contemplative vision of l’Aubrac, to stay as close as possible to nature. The architecture and design of his restaurant reflects this
intention: a glass bubble, perched on the edge of a meadow, like a dewdrop. A gurgling stream merrily crosses their property. Bras has brought a new energy to Le Suquet, once
abandoned. Visitors come from near and far to eat there. It was there that Bras invented le Gargouillou, a unique dish that has become renowned across the world.
<span class="alinea"></span>Eventually his son Sébastien joined him, along with his wife Véronique, who together with Gi maintain harmony and tranquility. Father and son share an attachment to the land,
the fields, rivers, and forests; they have in common a childhood spent on these lands, a keen awareness of the changing seasons. They traveled together, feeding their imagination
both near and far. One day, they were invited to open a restaurant on the island of Hokkaido. Like in Lagardelle, where they grow silver sorrel, mint geranium, valerian,
and fennel—plants gathered across the world—they would build a garden, an entire ecosystem, in Japan.
<span class="alinea"></span>The inspiration of these two sons of the Aubrac region knows no frontiers. While one feels a connection with the Fula people of South Africa, the other makes his own
miso, using lentils from the Planèze region. Michel and Sébastien are open to all sources of inspiration.
<span class="alinea"></span>They were invited to open a restaurant in Rodez, alongside the work of painter Pierre Soulages; in the hall of the musée Soulages, you can now find the Café Bras. The architecture
of the building perfectly suits both Soulages’s outrenoir works and their style of cuisine: they have in common a refinement and purity of lines. Art is a universal language that adopts
many different guises; gastronomy, like painting—or photography, Michel’s preferred hobby—is a metaphor. It gives meaning to the world.
<span class="alinea"></span>And it constantly reinvents and renews itself, incorporates new sources of inspiration. Never concerned with fashion, always true to itself. Such is, I believe, their simple truth!