Beurre Bordier (von Reiner Veit) - Maître Philippe & Filles

Beurre Bordier (by Reiner Veit)

This report is the quintessence of an interview that Reiner Veit from RBB inforadio conducted with Jean-Yves Bordier in autumn 2012.

This is about the butter that Jean-Yves Bordier makes in his dairy near the French city of Rennes. His grandfather made butter and his father made cheese. The son actually wanted to be a sailor, but quickly realized that it wasn't really the right thing for him. The butter had been put into his cradle and flowed through his veins – it was no use trying to resist it. So he inherited his ancestors and became the butter pope of France, who is known beyond the national borders.

But Jean-Yves Bordier doesn't just make butter. He reinvented them. And created new types of butter. The Bordier butter is handmade and unmatched in quality and is exported all over the world: from Australia to Asia to the USA and of course here in Europe, star chefs cook with Bordiers Butters.
The Bordier dairy is still in Rennes and is a traditional manufacturing company. All pieces of butter are beaten into shape by hand before being shipped around the world. However, the butter is also sold at market stalls in the region and in the small delicatessen in the town of Saint Malo, intra muros, i.e. within the city walls.
There is a restaurant at the back of the shop, which stocks butter, cheese and regional delicacies. There, regional dishes are cooked with a light hand and for little money, almost all of which are refined with Beurre Bordier. In addition to normal, salted or unsalted butter, there are those exceptional varieties that have made Bordier famous around the world: butter with seaweed or with smoked salt, with piment d'Espelette or olive oil and lemon.

But how did Jean-Yves Bordier come up with the idea for these sometimes exotic creations?

Sardines Bordier aux Algues Jean Yves Bordier:
"That's a good question. I only make one product: butter. A company that is only doing well with a single product, of course people take a very close look at what and how they are doing it. It's easier to have 10,000 products than just one. But I've lost my heart to one thing, butter. I mix them with one thing and with another, it's embarrassing and crap at times but suddenly something really special comes out of it. I've been to Japan twice – 2006, 2009 – and in 2006 a man gave me so many different things to taste and try, but there was one product that really blew me away. I was surprised by the elegance. I know the yuzu fruit is very fashionable today, but that's not the point. If I had been there earlier, I would have had the wonderful shock earlier, but it was in 2006, it became the Beurre au Yuzu, the Yuzu butter. Later I was shown a yuzu plantation and discovered yuzu juice, which is also used as vinegar, and a yuzu powder, which can be used like pepper. The Beurre au Yuzu, that was my idea...”

Bordier knows that it takes 22 liters of milk to make a kilo of butter. When his butter comes out of the fridge, it's firmer and looks a bit glassier than industrial butter. This is mainly due to the milk and the feed that the cows eat. Silage is forbidden! The milk itself comes from Brittany and Normandy, supplied by ten farmers between Rennes and Mont-Saint-Michel, all of them organic. Many factors determine the quality of a butter. Above all, making butter is a matter of time. Industrial butter is made in about six hours. At Bordier, production takes 72 hours!

Sardine Bordier au Yuzu Jean-Yves Bordier on the production steps:
“Monday mornings are milked. In the afternoon, the milk arrives at the dairy from ten producers between Rennes and Mont-Saint-Michel. The cream is left there and this cream is kept until Wednesday morning. As it ages, it gains aromatic complexity, meaning more aroma and flavor. Then milk ferments are added to stabilize them. Depending on the quantity, this results in the PH value. That is the production secret of the cream. This cream comes on Wednesday morning in a butter machine - a so-called "baratte" - a mixer. The creamy and liquid cream is heated to 13 - 14 degrees and stirred for about 50 minutes. This results in a phosphorescent liquid with yellow globs floating in it. Those are fats. The milk fat… Then the phosphorescent liquid is drained. Only the fat remains. Now as much ice water is added as was drained from the phosphorescent liquid. Now stir again for 50 minutes. And what happens there? The cream was 14 degrees warm. The butter flakes contract due to the ice water. The rotation achieves the aggregation of the butter flakes and this finally results in a perfect butter. Now you have to wait another 24 hours, because now the butter has to rest to achieve even more aromatic complexity. During this time, all kinds of hygienic and sensory analyzes are carried out. It is now Thursday. In a final step, the butter is flavored and packaged and shipped.”

So Bordier's butter is also a matter of time. And when it comes to the perfect consistency of his butter, the butter master Bordier likes to talk about tartinabilité – spreadability.

And what are creations that are not necessarily intended for the general public?

Jean-Yves Bordier: “Some of my creations are made exclusively for chefs that no one else has. This is how the butter with lemon oil was created. At first it was only for Guy Savoy. With his consent, they are now available to everyone. But the butter with nut oil has only one restaurant. There is also butter with wine salt, which is a fleur de sel that is marinated in grape mousse. There are already a few very idiosyncratic special products. But apart from that, I've also been asked to do completely stupid things: I won't say by whom, that wouldn't be nice. I should think about a Svarovski butter and a yellow, red, green butter. It's funny, but also sad for those who dream it up."

Why did Bordier open another restaurant himself?

Jean Yves Bordier:
"Thats is quite easy. There is this phrase in French: "de la fourche à la fourchette", and that is also very important in my small life, to develop further from the coarse fork to the fine fork. Especially when you have a product as good as I have. my butter And my little butter cook, Morganne. This wonderful young chef Morganne, he's there to put my butter to music in the restaurant. Despite all the butter, our kitchen is light and airy. Butter has a bad reputation for making us sick and fat. It's true: oil is less fatty than butter. But butter is a completely natural food, it is the product that contains the most vitamins A, B and D. So butter itself isn't dangerous or bad if you use it in moderation. You have to eat butter wisely.”

You can find more information at The complete interview was broadcast on April 20, 2013 in the show “Aufgegabelt”.

- - -

With us you get the Bordier butter in combination with sardines. Among other things, the ones with yuzu… You have to try them!

Instagram feed

Back to blog

Subscribe to our newsletter

Be the first to know about new collections and exclusive offers.