Toulouse. A talented chef opens a gourmet restaurant focusing on “southern cuisine”

At the helm of this restaurant we find Clément Lessoud (right), here with his sous chef Alban. (©DR)

“Go quickly before it takes three months to wait”; “Excellent on all levels! » ; “Fantastic experience”… Since opening just a few weeks ago, a restaurant has become the talk of the small gastronomic community of Toulouse: Hortus !

A young chef from Toulouse

At the helm of this restaurant we find Clément Lessoud, a young chef from Toulousewho started his first business after studying at Emile (a Toulouse institution) for three years, then with the biggest star chefs in the South West and London, but also in Marseille, where he was sous chef at the restaurant “Une table au sud” ( the restaurant of the star chef Ludovic Turac).

A “fundamental experience” that shaped this 31-year-old chef. With this enticing resume, Clément Lessoud returned to his first love, Toulouse, to open an intimate restaurant twenty seats in the very smart Rue Croix-Baragnon.

Southern cuisine

At the helm of Hortus (meaning “garden” or “vegetable garden” in Latin), Clément Lessoud strives to bring to life a concept inspired by his native southwest and his Mediterranean experiences: southern cookingfrom the garden to the plate, which promises “a gastronomic journey from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean”.

“We pay a lot of attention to the choice of our products and to purchases. We work a lot with organic and we try to offer a cuisine that tends towards plants. The meat and fish that we choose to work with are carefully selected”, explains chef Clément Lessoud who likes to work with products ” often noble, sometimes confidential or misunderstood”.

Three- and five-step menus

At Hortus, the concept is simple: everyone eats the same! The chef welcomes his guests a single menu in three steps for lunch – with starter, starter, main course and dessert (allow €27) – and a single menu in five steps in the evening (at a price of €55) “more work”. “The evening menu changes little by little every three weeks and the lunch menu changes every week,” explains the young chef, who is supported by a team used to working in star restaurants.

Hortus is a new gourmet restaurant that has just opened in Toulouse.
Hortus is a new gourmet restaurant that has just opened in Toulouse. (©DR)

The star? “Not a goal, but a reward”

“In Toulouse, there is a real revival of gourmet cuisine”, observes the young chef, willingly quoting the chef from Py-r, Pierre Lambinon, as a source of inspiration or even the Marseille chef Ludovic Turac. Does he dream of joining the main cast one day?

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“We necessarily think about it a bit, but we just opened! Our goal at the moment is above all to satisfy our customers and fill our restaurant. This is our main motivation! But if accolades are to come, we will take them as a great reward!” says Clément Lessoud.

An intimate table.
Hortus is an intimate restaurant, located rue Croix-Baragnon, in Toulouse. (©DR)
Practical information

Hortus
17, rue Croix-Baragnon 31,000 Toulouse
Monday to Friday, noon and evening
More info on Instagram

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