With its discreet black sign and opaque curtains, Le Médaillon restaurant is barely noticeable. This establishment, located in front of a hospital center in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne), is nevertheless one of the most famous addresses for halal cuisine in France. Its owner, Djamel Bouhadda, warmly welcomes us in the main room – decorated with golden benches and white tablecloths – for the recording of this third episode of the “Place des religions” podcast.
“My faith does not change anything in my cooking”
Son of restaurateurs, this dynamic and talkative chef cut his teeth in famous Parisian houses, such as the brasserie le Lutetia, or the hotel du Crillon. In 2011, he decided to open his own restaurant and serve dishes that respect the rules of the Muslim religion: pork is prohibited, meat slaughtered ritually and alcohol absent from the menu. Among its specialties, we find an Aubrac fillet with tuna and shellfish, soft-boiled eggs served with a haddock cream with mushrooms, or an eight-vegetable caviar with organic Madagascar shrimps, which Djamel Bouhadda tells us about. recipe with pleasure.
→ RECIPE. Djamel Bouhadda’s autumn vegetable caviar
“I do not defy food prohibitions, but my faith does not change my cooking, it remains French gastronomic”, says the head of the Medallion, who grew up in a non-practicing family and turned to Islam at the age of 28. “You can imagine that someone came to see me to make tagines or couscous, which has nothing to do with me, I have always refused ”, he adds.
“I would like halal cuisine to have its place in the books”
Over the years, his restaurant has acquired a certain notoriety and has attracted the attention of great chefs, such as Cyril Lignac, or Philippe Etchebest. A reputation maintained on social networks by Djamel Bouhadda, who publishes many recipes under the pseudonym “Chef Voila”. However, Le Médaillon is not listed in any gastronomic guide, which its owner deplores. “I would like halal cuisine to have its place in the books and for people to recognize it as French cuisine, quite simply”, argues Djamel Bouhadda, determined to move the lines.
→ TO LISTEN. Find all the episodes of “Around the table”, the 4e season of our podcast “Place des religions”
Among the other invited personalities: Thierry Marx, two-star chef and follower of Buddhism; Florence Kahn, owner of a Yiddish specialty shop; Stéphane Esclef, rector of the Sacré-Cœur basilica in Montmartre and former chef in major Parisian palaces …
A weekly podcast
Every Wednesday from September 29, 8 episodes of season 4 of “Place des religions”, to listen to on the newspaper’s website and app The cross and on all platforms.
→ PRACTICAL. How to listen to podcasts from your smartphone, tablet or computer
To listen to season 4 of the “Place des religions” podcast, subscribe for free on the following platforms: Apple Podcasts – Podcast Addict – Spotify –Deezer – Google Podcasts – YouTube – Castbox
→ TO PLAY BACK. Place des religions, season 1: so be they
→ RE-LISTEN Place des religions, season 2: words from politicians
→ TO PLAY BACK. Place des religions, season 3: the choice of risk
Editor-in-chief: Fabienne Lemahieu. Editorial manager: Clémence Maret. Journalist in the Religion Department: Malo Tresca. Production manager: Célestine Albert-Steward. Director: Clémence Maret. Sound mixing: Jules Wysocki. Marketing manager: Laurence Szabason. Graphic identity: Kimi Kimoki and Mathieu Ughetti. Musical creation: Arnaud Forest.