Having grown up eating his grandparents’ homemade pâté in Limoges, France, and then working in European and Canadian kitchens for years, classically trained chef Frédéric Tandy settled in Nova Scotia to start something of his own. “I wanted to do something different,” he says. “I saw that no one was preparing their own charcuterie, and the cheese selection was very limited.” With the basics of charcuterie in one hand and local ingredients in the other, Tandy began selling his own cured meats and sausages at the farmers’ market, a venture that eventually evolved into Ratinaud French Cuisine. Ratinaud not only serves as the single artisan shop of its kind in the region, but also houses a 20-seat restaurant in the back. In addition to fresh baked goods and housemade charcuterie, Tandy stocks more than 45 cheeses from France and Quebec. “My selection is not the biggest in number,” he says, “but we like to keep a good variety and range. Cheese is like wine: You can’t have them all!”
culture: What is your favorite in-house product and what cheese would you pair with it?
Frédéric Tandy: Our saucisson sec with local sea parsley [dulse seaweed]. When the meat is dried, it tastes like olives. I would pair it with Baluchon, a semi-firm raw cow’s milk cheese from Fromagerie FX Pichet in Quebec.
culture: What’s your favorite import?
FT: Cantal, a raw cow’s milk cheese I grew up eating, since we lived so close to where it’s produced in Auvergne, France. It’s aged for two years and has a very interesting, crumbly texture.
culture: What cheese do you recommend for a holiday party?
FT: Vacherin Mont d’Or. While it’s warming in the oven, I mix honey with fresh thyme and garlic, and then drizzle it over the cheese as soon as it comes out.
2157 Gottingen St.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Tues.–Fri. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.