While Catholicism has long been dominant in France, the country’s true religion is butter. In Gallic gastronomy, butter is everywhere—from flaky croissants to beurre blancs to Joël Robuchon making mashed potatoes with an obscene amount of the cultured, churned cow’s milk. “There is no French cooking without butter,” says chef Ludo Lefebvre.
Lefebvre, who now lives in Los Angeles and runs Petit Trois and the Michelin-starred Trois Mec, ventured back to his homeland to see how Bordier makes its world-renowned butter. The chef, born in the Burgundian town of Auxerre is no stranger to butter. He has a tattoo of escargot on his hand, which anyone who has had them in Burgundy knows those little snails are prepared with enough fat to clog an artery. For the PBS show Mind of a Chef, he visited Bordier’s factory in Brittany to see the craft that goes into this key building block of his cooking.
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