TO KNOW | LA RAMONETA OF THE MONTH
Every month, we introduce you to an interesting woman living in Languedoc. Curious as we are, we like to find out why they are living in this beautiful region, what they do for a living and some of their Languedoc favourites. This month we would like you to meet Annett Teich from Restaurant BK as Ramoneta of the Month.
Traveler & food lover, I’m originally from St Petersburg in Russia. Due to my German father’s work, my family moved over to Germany when I was quite young. I’ve always been passionate about food, culture, history and lifestyle. I’ve never missed the possibility of discovering other countries, culinary secrets and hidden gems all over the world. All of our family travelled a lot, and my parents took me on mountain & trekking tours across the globe. So I feel more like a nomad- taking risks, learning, taking with me what life offers to me.
First time in the region
My German husband, who lived in France before we met, helped me to discover France. I had been to Paris once before, but it was just a city trip and nothing special. It didn’t feel like I would love to come back to France. The first time I visited Occitanie was in 2007 when I arrived in Toulouse for a holiday. France wasn’t on my “I’ve always dreamed of living here” list. So, my arrival was more like a “Plan B”. However, I came, saw and never left. Although I didn’t speak any French, I was sure to learn it.
Settling in Languedoc
We moved to Montagnac at the end of 2013. Our restaurant in Toulouse (1) was full of asbestos. So, we had to search for a new place to settle down and found this amazing local place with a vaulted ceiling in Montagnac. It seemed to be an amazing place to continue our passion for modern, top quality food.
© Annett Teich
Living in the South of France
My husband and I visit local wine regions like Fronton, Gaillac, Saint Sardos and Minervois. The nature is outstanding, the sea amazing and the weather is nice. Discovering all the amazing castles, the history, walking on the path of the Templars, Cathars and Romains is just overwhelming and had an important influence on my decision to stay. I love the fact that we live really close to the sea. It’s an easy-going area, and perfect for children to grow up in.
Restaurant BK (2)
Our restaurant is situated in the old town of Montagnac with an incredible vaulted ceiling, modern handmade furniture and innovative, fresh dishes. The quality of food we produce from our kitchen has been recognized, and I was asked to become an official member of the ‘Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe’- the first female chef from France since 1974. Also, I am mentioned as ‘Exemplary Female Chef to Follow’ in the new guide ‘Cheffes, 500 Femmes qui changent les Cuisines de France’. Since I was young, I have paid attention to the conditions of animal farming. I’m happy to see that many people are starting to care more about animal welfare. We work with independent quality wineries, local producers, fresh products and sustainable dry-aged meats. I’m also a member of the ‘Institute of Masters of Meat’ which promotes excellence, sustainability and animal welfare worldwide. This institute was created by the producer of ‘Steak (R)evolution’, known for his Netflix show and echoes my philosophy about using ethical meat from free-range animals.
Setting up business in France
At first, I had to learn French. It took me a year to be able to handle my business without help from friends. The French administration wasn’t very helpful. Being a female, foreign chef with a lot of passion caused many obstacles because it’s still difficult for women to be accepted as an entrepreneur. Luckily, we have amazing clients who come from all over the world. It’s challenging to get local support instead of jealousy. But after 12 years it’s ok, and we’re used to dealing with it. We’re very implicated in national organizations that promote equal rights for women, entrepreneurs and especially in my case, the recognition of female chefs in restaurants.
Best Languedoc wine
My absolute favourite restaurant is the ‘Le Cinqième Péché’ in Collioure (3) because the cook creates outstanding Catalan-Japanese fusion dishes on the highest level. Really caring about fair animal treatment makes it difficult for me to find an outstanding local restaurant with meat that comes from the highest protection standards.