1955 - 1996
YOUNGEST SON AND FRÉDY GIRARDET
The year was 1955 when Benjamin Girardet decided to open up a local restaurant on the outskirts of Lausanne. He settled in the former Hôtel de Ville de Crissier and ran his restaurant for over ten years before his death in 1965.
His son, Frédy, took over the management and, more importantly, the kitchen. The young chef, a trained typographer, explains that he had his culinary revelation during a meal at the Troisgros brothers in Roanne. « A shock, an epiphany. Suddenly, everything became clear. I understood the real meaning of the trade : creating delicacies, almost like a magician. »
Inspired by the nouvelle cuisine, he challenged the traditional ethics without forgetting its foundations and created his own style. Refined, precise and spontaneous, he had a golden rule : never more than three flavours on the plate. Benoît Violier has said of him that « Mr. Girardet was a chord genius. Incredibly rigorous, but also capable of the most brilliant improvisation. » This philosophy has forever left its mark on the succeeding chefs.
Frédy Girardet took up the challenge to have his restaurant be a part of the elite circle of the top haute cuisine restaurants in the world : Les Grandes Tables du Monde. Over the years, his hard work and perseverance was rewarded:
- 1975 : Gault Millau Golden Key
- 1986 : 19.5/20 Gault Millau
- 1994 : 3 Michelin Guide Stars, re-awarded every year since.
The legend of Crissier was born. Aile de volaille with leek and truffle coulis, canard in Brouilly wine, cassolette of truffle cardoons, Frédy Girardet was designated « Chef of the century » in 1990 by the Gault-Millau guide. He went on to create marvellous dishes his peers described as masterpieces of haute cuisine, still on offer today on the restaurant’s menu.
In 1996, after 31 years as head chef of the restaurant, he retired and handed over management to his right hand, Mr. Philippe Rochat.