Northern France Tourism : official website

Alexandre Gauthier in his kitchen

A chef with no complexes

The Grenouillère... Created by Monsieur Gauthier senior, the Grenouillère has been a first-class establishment for many years, in the heart of a charming village, La-Madeleine-sous-Montreuil. Then his son, Alexandre took over. He kept the frogs. But it was not kitsch, rather a contemporary and traditional setting. Elegant and fun. Alexandre Gauthier is a chef with daring who does not fear going off the beaten track, making his own way. He learnt with Coutenceau at La Rochelle, with Régis Marcon at Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, and with Michel Roth at the Maison Lasserre. Younger, he mountain climbed with his father, where he discovered his taste for the extreme. A land yachting enthusiast, he drives a 2CV: “I go all the way. I am a bit obstinate. When it comes to cuisine, I open doors. “

View of the Grenouillère dining room
  • The Grenouillère dining room
  • © Alain ETIENNE
I arrived at the Grenouillère in 2003 and I realised immediately that I would never leave... 

Côte d’Opale inspiration

“People always parody the North, even our cuisine,” he says. “They talk about chicory, endives, Maroilles and Boulette d’Avesnes cheese. They belittle it, reducing it to beer and chicory. Our region is infinitely more rich. There is a vast variety of products from culture, agriculture, market gardening, line fishing, trawling. And there are mushrooms to be gathered in the forest, as well as shellfish and glasswort on the beach.” When looking for inspiration, he likes to walk on the long Côte d’Opale beaches and smell the salt of the sea... He escapes with his family to visit the Madeleine-sous-Montreuil marshes. He appreciates the local craftsmen: Alex Croquet, the baker who taught him to make bread; and the artists, the spirit of the Channel in Calais... 

View of Montreuil-sur-mer, the ramparts and countryside.
  • View of Montreuil-sur-mer, the ramparts and countryside.
  • © Eric DESAUNOIS

The chef confides...

Meurin has a collection in his pockets. An orchestra conductor has a baton, chefs have small spoons. “I need to check the flavours in my dish.” For Alexandre, his dishes are at their best when served lukewarm. An outstanding entremet? Grated raw pumpkin and clementine zest, with a half spoon of hazelnut oil and cider vinegar.  Serve it in a pretty dish - genuinely enchanting! How does he see the region? “It is a place with perspectives for the future. Where you can set your bag down and make projects. It is a crossroads where there is physical and intellectual space for self-expression. “

  • A “Gauthier-style” cooked oyster
  • © A cooked oyster
Framed by the Blanc-Nez and Griz-Nez capes, the Wissant bay shelters one of the north of France’s largest beaches.
  • Framed by the Blanc-Nez and Griz-Nez capes, the Wissant bay shelters one of the north of France’s largest beaches.
  • © Eric DESAUNOIS

Take a tour with Alexandre Gauthier...

The Wissant beach, Cap Gris-Nez or dine with your feet in the sand, and the Boulogne-sur-Mer port.