Interview with Valery Mieral

46-year-old Valéry Mieral is a poultry farmer who also heads Mieral – the last remaining family-run Bresse chicken business which is in its fourth generation, and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in less than two years! Mieral has forged a reputation around the world for supplying the finest restaurants – with Le Café des Bains obviously among them!

What does a typical day involve for a poultry farmer?
I collect the poultry every morning from our partner farmers, then set about plucking them and preparing them by hand. We no longer have to scour all the countless markets in local villages – poultry-farming is now a far more organized business. Our task nowadays is to source, buy and then prepare the poultry. We mainly tend to work with smaller farms who, like us, have changed a great deal. Where once we worked with 1,600 farmers, now we only have 160 on our books.

What about Switzerland?
We deliver to Switzerland twice a week, and that goes up to almost every day in the run-up to Christmas. I do like our Swiss clients – they have a real heritage when it comes to food and drink, and produce fine wine and exceptional cheeses. For poultry, the soil there is unfortunately less suitable, while ours is absolutely perfect in geological terms.

Did you know?
When you buy a Bresse chicken, you might be getting a male or a female! The best way to tell them apart is that males are usually bigger. Females are better for poaching with vegetables, while males are perfect as roast chicken or in a cream and morel sauce.

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