Frédéric Ménager The Ferme de La Ruchotte's alternative chef

Frédéric Ménager: Chef with a farmer’s soul

Frédéric Ménager truly is an alternative chef and free spirit in the world of French gastronomy. Sporting a long hipster beard, forearms flanked with tattoos – Ménager is a chef with the soul of a farmer, carefully cultivating a life of freedom and an authentic French country style cuisine that is designed around the products produced on the self-sufficient and eco-responsible organic farm that surrounds his restaurant the Ferme de La Ruchotte®. Praised by the press and recommended by his Michelin Starred peers, the Burgundian Chef’s main aspiration is to raise and tend to the animals he cooks and to grow the fruits and vegetables that compose his daily menu that constantly shifts according to the seasons.

Frédéric Ménager: Chef with a farmer’s soul

Frédéric Ménager: An alternative chef is born

When he was young Fred Ménager announced,

"When I grow up, I will be a musician!”

His grandparents brought him back down to reality by responding,

"You’ll be a chef!"

His passion for Heavy Metal, growing a goatee and wearing T-shirts from his favorite bands began at an early age. Now he devotes most of his time to raising heritage poultry breeds, as one of the founding pillars of his restaurant is to only use animals that he has raised.

His culinary revelation

Alain Chapel explained,

"[One] needs to know the cow that made the milk..."

Among the many great restaurants where Fred has worked are Hôtel Balzac, the Laurent and Pierre Gagnaire’s restaurant, where he worked as the roaster.

Michel Chardigny, assistant manager of Balzac recommended him at Alain Chapel’s restaurant. He began working there in 1991. This marked the starting point of his culinary revelation.

Under the wing of his mentor Philippe Jousse, whom he would end up assisting in 1993, he learned the importance of placing the quality of his ingredients above all else as well as respecting the conditions in which they are raised.

Take off

In 1995, Fred decided to branch out on his own, becoming head Chef at Castel de Très Girard for 5 "wonderful" years. During this time, he began to think about the quality of meat, especially poultry.

"I told myself that it was difficult to buy good meat. For vegetables it was okay, I had started working with Annie Bertin (A renowned French vegetable farmer)..."

The shift to breeding livestock

His quest for the perfect poultry

Fred started raising his own chickens, but soon realized that they were not up to his high standards. So, he began his quest for the perfect chicken.

It started in Bresse at Guy Morey’s "Les Animaux des Petits Bois," where he purchased Alsace hens and a Golden Gauloise cock.

Winner of Champion de France in 2000

Everything took off from there; he raised 150 birds a year, meeting incredible people along the way, including the genetics veterinarian Roland Dams and Alain Baudier Fred’s poultry farming mentor and president of Avicol’Club who organizes famous heritage poultry tastings. In 2000 Fred one first place in the Golden Gauloise category at the Champion de France.

Frédéric Ménager: Chef, heritage poultry breeder and vegetable gardener

In 2001, he found the perfect location for creating his farm and organic restaurant, La Ruchotte®, and decided to leave Castel de Très Girard to peruse his dreams.

The Ferme de La Ruchotte

Chef Frédéric Ménager’s balanced blend of French country style cooking and Haute Cuisine

The Ferme de La Ruchotte’s® motto is, “From farm to table.” Frédéric Ménager’s dialed-in organic cuisine is the perfect blend of high-end French gastronomy and rusticity, focused on authenticity and creativity rather than the latest culinary trends. Chef Ménager designs his French Haute Cuisine Bourgeoise around the daily bounty his farm produces. He places the well-being of his livestock above all else. His organic restaurant is located in Bligny sur Ouche near Beaune in Côte d’Or, France and can accommodate 20 to 25 guests.

Explore our fine dining experiences

“Our ‘tattooed chef’ and music fanatic, sublimates the magnificent ingredients he gave life to in his garden with the passion of a pianist.”

Make a reservation at the Ferme de La Ruchotte

La Ferme de La Ruchotte
La Ruchotte
21360 Blingy-sur-Ouche

Frédéric Ménager welcomes you for lunch Wednesday to Sunday at his gourmet restaurant located north-west of Beaune. To reserve a table at the Ferme de La Ruchotte®, please use our reservation form or call us at +33 3 80 20 04 79. Follow us on social media to stay-in-the-know about upcoming events at La Ruchotte®!

Deep dive
Heritage Chicken Breeds
Our hotel restaurant in Bligny-sur-Ouche’s specialty...

The farmhouse inn and restaurant in Bligny-sur-Ouche goes above and beyond gourmet fine dining. If we had to summarize the Ferme de La Ruchotte® in a few words, we would say that this place is a "paradise for poultry " on earth! La Ruchotte’s® Chef is also a chicken breeder and vegetable gardener, a true specialist, dedicated to reviving ancient breeds of livestock. Frédéric Ménager’s animals are his number one source of inspiration – he places his respect for their life cycle and well-being above all else.

Read more
Heritage Chicken Breeds