1 Michelin Star Chefs: David Everitt-Matthias, Le Champignon Sauvage

The  Staff Canteen

David Everitt-Matthias is the chef patron of Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage.

Le Champignon Sauvage

 

24-28 Suffolk Rd, Cheltenham GL50 2AQ

Head chef:
David Everitt- Matthias

Wednesday-Saturday

12.30 - 1.15pm (last order: 1.30) 7.30 - 8.30pm (last order: 8.45)

Closed Sunday-Monday-Tuesday

Website: www.lechampignonsauvage.co.uk

Twitter: @lechampsauvage
Instagram: @lechampsauvage
Telephone: 01242573449

Biography

London born and raised, David's understanding of the relationship between food and nature  fromwas sparked at a young age, when his aunt took him hedgerow picking on Wandsworth Common.

His first foray into professional kitchens was at The Four Seasons, where he worked under chef Jean-Michel Bonin from 1978. 

During his time there, he also did a stage at La Tante Claire, which was a pivotal time; he learned the joy and pleasure from the pure focus on producing excellent food above all else. He discovered that humble ingredients could produce spectacular food, recognising this to be the direction he wished to head with his own career.

 

When he left The Four Seasons, the chef was already intent on opening his own restaurant, but took on three successive head chef roles, first at Steamer’s, a Seychelles fish restaurant; then at American brasserie The Grand Café; and finally at Fingals, a small fine-dining restaurant on Fulham Road. 

In 1987, at the bright young age of 26, David and his wife Helen (who he met at The Four Seasons) moved to Cheltenham Spa in the Cotswolds to open their own venue, Le Champignon Sauvage.

 

Although initially things went well, they faced the recession in the 1980s which threatened to stop them before they could get into their stride. However, the couple's risk averse, careful business approach paid off; combining Helen's attention to detail for the look and feel of the restaurant and David's increasing confidence to cook the food he wanted to offer, they earned a Michelin star in 1995, followed by a second in 2000.

What the guides say...

Michelin
Restaurant James Sommerin, Michelin star restaurants, Michelin Guide 2018

AA Restaurant Guide

Harden's

 

The couple took the opportunity to expand 'Le Champignon' into the shop next door in 2013, but, even with the bigger space, they chose not to fill it up with as many covers as could fit and instead opted to offer patrons more space to enjoy their meal and eat in comfort.

Although we may not expect to see David grace our screens any time soon, the chef has produced several books which have been very well received: Essence, Dessert and Beyond Essence, featuring recipes from the restaurant and forewords by Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Pierre Koffmann.

Sadly, eighteen years after first earning two Michelin stars, Le Champignon Sauvage lost a star in the 2019 Guide. 

Following the news, the couple issued a statement which read: "Our lives have revolved around Le Champignon Sauvage since we opened over 31 years ago, and whilst we are hugely disappointed at losing a Michelin star, we ultimately cook for ourselves and our guests.

"Our bookings have always been very healthy and repeat business consistently high, and so it is to our loyal customers, friends, chefs and industry colleagues that we extend a very heartfelt thanks for their loyal and continued support."

Le Champignon Sauvage

The classically-trained chef's style has continuously evolved over the years, attesting to his passion for the local, seasonal and wild produce of Gloucestershire, as well as his desire to make humble ingredients shine. 

Michelin describes his food as seeking out the best of British produce, showcased in a style which both nods to his French training but does not fear to employ modern techniques and exhibit original elements.

"There is a lightness of touch to many, like fillet of Cornish mackerel with kohlrabi and avocado, while others display bold, robust flavours, such as Brecon venison with parsnip purée and bitter chocolate," it says.

"The seasons mean everything here and he isn’t afraid to use some lesser-known ingredients. Desserts are a highlight and the set priced menu [£93 for four courses with cheese and dessert] is great value."

Videos by David Everitt-Matthias:

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd December 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: David Everitt-Matthias, Le Champignon Sauvage