Buttered Up in Paris


Everyone knows that the French love their butter—they consume some 17 pounds per person annually, the highest consumption in the world—but recently Parisian chefs have fallen head over heels for the beurre of Jean-Yves Bordier, a small Saint Malo-based producer. Bordier makes all his butter in small batches according to old-fashioned methods, using the organic milk of Holstein and Norman cows that graze in the rich pastures outside of Rennes in Brittany.

While you'll find Beurre Bordier on the tables of Joel Robuchon, Alain Passard, Alain Ducasse, Guy Savoy and a variety of other starred chefs, the butter maker has developed a following among young chefs like Benoit Bordier (no relation), who uses it as a condiment on cod steak and it shows up at trendy restaurants like Breizh Cafe, a new creperie in Marais. "Bordier's butter is a perfect condiment," says Jerome Bordier. "It has a subtle, distinctive taste that brings out the natural freshness in any produce."

The secret of Bordier's butter (which comes in versions unicluding unsalted, salted with sea salt, salted with smoked sea salt, and seaweed flavored) is that it's made from cream that has matured for 36 hours and is then churned several times—first for 90 minutes to separate the buttermilk, and then a second time at a slow speed before finally being kneaded extra-slowly with a wooden cylinder at a very slow speed. Bordier butter is available at a limited number of Paris outlets, including the Breizh Cafe and Da Rosa, a small luxury grocer and restaurant in the rue de Seine in Saint Germain.

Subscribe to Gourmet