Christophe Hay Takes Over as Executive Chef of Bel Ami
Christophe Hay has been director of cuisine at the Hotel de Sers for more than two years, and last year he re-launched the restaurant menu of the Hotel Edouard VII.
At the request of his director, Mme Laurence Guinebretière, he has now become the executive chef of the third hotel in the Bessé Signature group, the BEL AMI. There, he is seconded by Renaud Hameury, former chef of Alain Dutournier, whom he worked with at the Hotel de Sers.
Hay comes from a farming family in the department of Loir et Cher: With farmer grandfather and uncle, and a father who is a butcher, he acquired the taste for working with fine products at an early age. He studied his trade for three years under Eric Rethler at the Rendez-vous des Pêcheurs in Blois.
After Rethler sold his business to Christophe Come, Hay took up the position of second chef for two years. He subsequently decided to seek new pastures for the good of his career and went to the United States to direct the kitchens of the French Pavilion in the Epcot Center in Florida.
For five years under Paul Bocuse’s animated direction, he climbed the curve of learning and discovery—an experience that continues to feed his enthusiasm and professionalism.
His father’s state of health forced a return to France and the abandonment of his plan to open a restaurant in California. But inspired by a report on the Hotel de Sers, he sent off his CV and was immediately recruited by the hotel, which was looking for exactly the experience as a chef that Hay had to offer.
The acquisition of the Hotel de Sers by the group Bessé Signature, directed by Madame Anne Jousse, gave a new thrust to his work, initially with the renovation of the restaurant and the extension of the kitchen, and later with the re-launch of the restaurant of the Hotel Edouard VII, which is also owned by the group.
Insistence on quality and a partnership with a carefully selected number of suppliers to satisfy his demand for quality, Hay relies upon suppliers that he selects personally and with great rigor. In this way, he can keep control of the traceability of the products he puts on his menus.
As well as with the organic gardener Julien Bouche, he has worked for several years with Vincent Doucet in Brittany for fish and with Didier Racoupeau and the butchers Chassineau for meat. He also works with Dominique Fabre for his selection of organic cheeses from Touraine.
Hay is a demanding chef who delights in being part of a team of people, each of whom wants to help develop his hotel by investing his own capabilities in the project.