Or rather: two chefs, one dish, as Salmon with Sorrel (Saumon à l'oseille) is an iconic French dish, created by the no less iconic chefs, the brothers Jean et Pierre Troisgros... 

The Troigros brothers ran a Michelin 3-star restaurant, the address of which was famous all over the world, by the Roanne railway station. Despite Jean’s death and Pierre’s retirement, the restaurant still exists and proudly displays its three 3 Michelin stars obtained for the first time in 1968. Only one restaurant in the world has been showing the highest global culinary recognition for a longer period of time, and this is another myth, the Paul Bocuse’s restaurant near Lyon, since 1965. However, unavoidable compromise to modernity, the Troisgros recently quit the place de la gare de Roanne and was relocated to a beautiful estate in the countryside of Roanne. It is now run by one of Pierre’s sons, Michel, who has very brilliantly continued the tradition of excellence initiated by his father and his uncle since, on top of keeping the three stars, he was elected by his pairs as the “best chef in the world” in 2018.

The idea behind the saumon à l’oseille is in fact very basic. Jean and Pierre Troisgros just had the idea to associate abundant early fall products, the sorrel growing in August and September and the salmons running  up the Loire river to hatch… well for the salmons, this was before numerous dams were built to canalize the river.

Well, like would like, I did somehow the same thing, taking advantage of both the sorrel that grows like a weed in our garden and the run of Coho salmons in our favorite grocery store. For this recipe, albeit a few personal twists, I was inspired by three chefs, Troisgros obviously, the regretted Joël Robuchon, and Thierry Marx, an innovating 2-star chef.

For instance, I stole Marx's idea of marinating for a couple of hours the raw salmon in a mix of coarse sea salt, pepper and sorrel leaves (those three ingredients being crushed together to literally "melt" the sorrel). Through this treatment, the salmon is infused with the sorrel flavor and is also precooked. Obviously, I rinsed it abundantly afterwards. I prepared a reduced sauce with shallots, sorrel leaves, Noilly Prat (a French dry vermouth), a dry white wine (Sauvignon blanc), and crème fraiche added at the last minute. I seared the salmon à l'unilatérale, on the skin side, for around three minutes. Needless to cook it longer or to flip it as it was already "salt-cooked". Served with steamed potatoes (or with tagliatelle as also featured here), a chiffonade of raw chopped sorrel leaves, the sorrel sauce... and an olive tomato for the color!

Aa great dish proving that sophistication lies also in simplicity…


  1. Nice piece on a classic nouvelle cuisine dish


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