In the kitchen with Beatriz González, Chef at the Le Rive Droite restaurant
Chef at the restaurant Le Rive Droite, Beatriz González has taken over the top floor of 80, rue de Passy in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, where she presents a cuisine that is both feminine and gourmet. An edible-flower enthusiast, she has always included them in her recipes. Discover her finest combinations!
How did you become a Chef?
As the daughter of restaurant owners, gastronomy has always played an important role in my life. At our house, the kitchen was always a sociable hub where we enjoyed gathering to prepare meals together. At the age of 18, I came to France to train at the Paul Bocuse institute. I quickly fell in love with this rigour, so characteristic of top French cuisine. This is why I chose to stay a few years... to never return!
What are your essential cooking ingredients?
I’m a big fan of citrus fruits in cooking. I come from an island off Mexico where we eat a lot of lemons, clementines or oranges... cooked in a thousand different ways. I often slip them into my savoury and sweet recipes to add a touch of acidity which peps up a dish. I like to blend in herbs, flowers and spices to give some extra taste and colour. For example, I use peppers from different origins, such as cubebe pepper. For deli items, I use Kalios. Oils, honeys, olives… I can’t go without them!
You have opened your 3rd restaurant, this time on the top floor of La Grande Épicerie Rive Droite. Why did you choose 80, rue de Passy?
From the start, La Grande Épicerie de Paris trusted me by giving me carte blanche. I was able to unleash all my creativity there, design the establishment down to the smallest detail... When the project was presented to me, I was immediately seduced!
Being open non-stop, from morning to night, was a real challenge. For that reason, we branched out and started offering set menus for breakfast and tea-time. Our wonderful marble bar also hosts our clients for coffee or a cocktail at the start of the night!
How did you come up with your new menu? What were your sources of inspiration?
I am lucky to have a multicultural team, which is an incredible source of richness that allows us to add a touch of elsewhere to all of our creations. To compose our new menus, we first meet over breakfast and share our ideas for recipes inspired by seasonal ingredients.
Our goal is to make the ingredients shine in a surprising way, with just a touch of madness, retaining their essence and without altering their flavour. Culinary experiences must be multi-sensory, which is why we always try to incorporate different textures and flavours into our creations. Now comes the time to create and experiment with our combinations.
At a second meeting, we taste the dishes we had envisioned. We all share our thoughts in order to perfect the final recipe. The dishes we serve to our guests have all been studied, modified, improved and perfected, and are the result of genuine teamwork.
Two recipes from your menu have been published exclusively on our website. Would you mind telling us about them?
Citrus fruits are the common denominator in these two recipes. These key seasonal ingredients appear often on the menus in all three of my restaurants.
Let’s begin with the main dish. Cod is an essential ingredient in my cuisine. We first salt the fish raw with coarse salt in order to firm the flesh without damaging it. Using fillets, we make ballottines, which we cut during service so that they are perfectly uniform and round. We brown them in a skillet, remove them from the heat and turn them onto a baking sheet to be finished in the oven for a few minutes. As a result, the fish is cooked until perfectly opaque.
To accompany the cod, we braise cauliflower and glaze it in reduced orange, ginger and lime juice to give it a nice colour.
Pickled and charred onions add a touch of acidity, which balances out the sweetness of the cauliflower.
Finally, the hazelnut foam is a nod to sea foam. This light and frothy sauce infused overnight with toasted hazelnut adds a delicate touch. Balance was key in creating this dish, which we wanted to be both exquisite and surprising.
For dessert, I decided to share my recipe for chocolate fondant cake with bursts of citrus and candied orange.
When I came to France to pursue my studies, I was instantly fascinated by the richness of French gastronomy. I wanted to discover all French specialties, and for me, the orangette was a true revelation. Through this dessert, I have tried to convey this flavour experience.
So we have revisited the chocolate fondant cake and also recreated the classic orangette flavour. This dessert consists of a melt-in-the-mouth chocolate centre topped with a creamy ganache, slow-candied orange zest and rum-marinated orange segments. As a final touch, a quenelle of whipped cream with rum and a hint of sugar adds sweet and comforting notes.
To finish, do you have a chef’s tip to share with us?
I often siphon my sauces to give them an airy texture. This is a simple tip which works with all sauces, both savoury and sweet!