René Mathieu

René Mathieu

Dear Consom’Actors,

I’m proud and honoured that Cactus has asked me to get involved with the “Changeons! Agissons!” project, and most especially to have been given this column where I can talk to you directly, each month, through the Cactus brochure and where I can explore various topics dear to my heart.

In January, the partnership between the Michelin-starred chef and champion of vegetarian cuisine René Mathieu and the family-run business Cactus was announced. Since then, discussions and internal meetings have taken place to ensure that their shared objectives are achieved – find out more by watching this video.

Evaluating the partnership with Cactus

Interview with René Mathieu, Champion of Vegetarian Cuisine

Mr Mathieu, working with Cactus, 2021 has been especially focussed on making the general public aware of the “local & seasonal” project. How do you think things have gone? For you, what has stood out most from this year?

This partnership with Cactus, which started in January 2021, has been extremely interesting on many levels and we’ve started to get the message across...

Winter cooking is anything but sorry fare

Root vegetables are plentiful on the winter market stalls. So it’s possible to treat yourself by cooking them in a thousand and one ways, and to try out ancient varieties to get away from the all-too-familiar, for instance exploring parsnips or Jerusalem artichokes, with their delicious artichoke flavour.

Eating seasonal, local vegetables is a responsible action, but it is also excellent for your health. Easy to digest and rich in vitamins and minerals, winter...

Healthy food and fair prices

Can our food simultaneously be good for our health, the environment, and animal welfare?

My view is that price measures can help to move things in the right direction, but unfortunately recent market studies have reported more sizeable price rises for healthy foods than for unhealthy ones. In my opinion, economic and fiscal policies could be used, for instance, to encourage people to eat more healthily, using taxes and targeted subsidies, because...

Long live ugly fruit and veg!

So that the fruit and vegetables we consume look the same, they are calibrated and standardised, to the detriment of their flavour and nutritional qualities. As our purchasing behaviour is hugely influenced by visual signals, we really need to re-examine it and grow accustomed once more to eating what nature provides us. Due to their wonky shapes, ugly fruit and vegetables appear odd, and yet they have so much more going for them than simply reducing food waste. This means we...

Food allergies

Qu’elles soient respiratoires, cutanées ou alimentaires, les allergies ont fortement progressé dans les pays industrialisés et touchent aujourd’hui près d’une personne sur cinq. Les enfants, les premières victimes, sont trois fois plus touchés que les adultes. Si les allergies sont si répandues de nos jours, cela peut être en raison d’un excès d’hygiène, de la sensibilité de notre système immunitaire ou des modifications de notre régime alimentaire liées à l’augmentation des...

Preserving Seasonal Foods

Lacto-fermentation is one method of preserving seasonal food, it’s an age-old process used the world over which is simple, natural and inexpensive.

Fermentation is a biological reaction which results in a foodstuff being transformed naturally and is how milk turns naturally into yoghurt or cheese. Grapes turn into wine thanks to the alcohol produced during fermentation.

Moreover, apart from preserving foodstuffs, lacto-...

Paying homage to our local producers

Giving all our producers in Luxembourg proper recognition is especially close to my heart because these men and women do remarkable work – and they deserve to be respected and supported because their work is of benefit to us all!

The society in which we live drives people to consume more – and in a way that’s disorganized and unfair. We have to change the way we buy goods because this marketing system often leaves local producers out of the picture...

Why eat wild plants?

I started my wild pickings when I was a child, with my grandparents. Nowadays it’s not just a leisure time activity, picking wild plants has become something that I absolutely have to do. I specifically search out the qualities offered by wild plants, which are dependent on their living conditions and environment. These plants produce antioxidants to protect themselves from various dangers (insects, climate change, UV rays) and they take up minerals from the soil to...

My Thoughts on the Climate and Water

Water is fast becoming one of the major challenges for our society, whether it’s access to drinking water, water pollution or the difficulties already facing many countries in sourcing water. Water will become a considerably scarcer resource because of population growth, developments in food consumption patterns as well as climate change, due in particular to the ever-increasing demand for energy.

If by 2030, there is still enough drinkable water on...

A healthy diet

Keeping Body and Mind Well

Today, I want to talk to you about something more “down to earth”, but which is really important if we want to look after ourselves: eating a healthy diet. What should we eat and why? To my mind if we don’t eat a healthy, balanced diet, we can’t enjoy good health. We should eat good seasonal products with a balanced intake. 

Only natural foodstuffs contain important intrinsic elements which our bodies need to be able to keep...

The seasons around us

We are getting ever closer to spring – but a word of warning: it’s not the calendar that will decide when we get there, but the weather! It is not for us to tell our producers what we want to eat, but nature, via the producers.

Making a choice to buy local products as a preference is important, and shows our respect towards them. Not insisting on asparagus or strawberries right now, because by the time our local producers can offer their own produce...

Winter in our garden

Winter is the perfect season for recharging our batteries and taking good care of ourselves.

Winter is the season of rest, peace and quiet and an opportunity to take stock of how we feel. It’s obvious that we eat differently according to the season because Nature is clever and provides us with exactly what we need most at the right time. In the summertime, wonderfully juicy fruit and vegetables to keep us hydrated; in the wintertime, more nourishing fruit and vegetables...