An epicurean curious about everything

Kitchen “ “Let your gut do the talking in the kitchen and, if possible, in life in general,” she encourages. A curious epicurean or a curious epicurean, as we might qualify Pierre-Etienne Joye. The journalist, who has always been passionate about cooking, has just published L’eau à la bouche, his first book. He compiles 10 years of culinary pages in La Gruyère and chronicles for the RTS. A “culinary walk through the seasons of a land of tradition”, reads the subtitle. And the opportunity to discover another side of his personality.

“My goal: to delight with emotional dishes, childhood memories, travel, parties with friends.”
Pierre-Étienne Joye

Passionate about history, the man loves to read and tell stories. On the radio and in the kitchen. His work is not a recipe book, even if it contains some, but rather an invitation to escape through the evolution of cuisine and products, and through anecdotes lived around signature dishes that appeal to connoisseurs. “Because dishes are emotional: childhood memories, travel, parties with friends”.
And this narrator likes the truth. Animated since childhood by an insatiable curiosity, he continues his search for the Grail: that of the authentic, in the kitchen, as in human relationships; in love with the land and with those who make it. However, the culinary click comes late…

Curiosity as an engine

Pierre-Etienne was born in Fribourg. The eldest of the brothers, of a calm nature, will remain so. He is also “a bit over the moon”. Perhaps an escape route, between a doctor father – whose grandfather founded the Riaz hospital – and a teacher mother. The family soon bonded with Broc, after years spent in Geneva. Great reader, Pierre-Etienne already travels like this. Without imagining that this interest will soon form the essence of his profession.

Tempted to continue the tradition, he began a semester in medicine at the University of Freiburg, then branched out into humanities. It was through this contribution to the university magazine that he came to journalism. “He Got Me!” he tells. Since 1993 he has been collaborating with La Gruyère, making reports of concerts, himself a musician, trained in transverse flute at the conservatory. An artistic fiber that he also cultivates as an amateur actor at the Théâtre de la Cité in Fribourg. In this context, he heard about radio, which led him to Radio Lac, in Geneva, where he finished his PR internship in 1997. There he enjoyed, as in the kitchen, following all the phases of the creation of the product, to touch. “We were fiddling with the sound, there were still tapes; I said to myself, this is for me! He notably leads the Carte sur table gastronomic program. One thing leads to another, he was in the editorial staff of Radio Suisse Romande, first in Geneva, then in the central editorial office in Lausanne in 2001. A current affairs journalist at RTS, he also became a culinary columnist – Il gusto degli altri – and writes a cooking page in La Gruyère every season.

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Born on 26.1.1970 in Freiburg. He has lived in Bulle since 2010. Married to Maryse, he has three daughters.


From 1976, school in Broc, then college in Bulle and university of literature in Freiburg. Since 1993 he has been collaborating with La Gruyère. In 95 he PR training at Radio Lac.


Journalist for RTS radio news. From 95 to 99 he leads a gastronomic program on Radio Lac (GE). He writes cooking pages in La Gruyère and hosts a weekly culinary column on RTS la 1re. In October 2022 he publishes L’eau à la bouche.

This is how his two passions come together. Their common thread? Curiosity: “I’m always curious about what I don’t know.” The young Pierre-Etienne thus shows himself to be a daring gourmet. His mother’s cooking skills contribute to this. “I have always been open to what was offered to me at the table, I wanted to taste everything!” he remembers. Already at the age of 10, when the family goes on holiday to the south of France, he orders unfamiliar dishes, discovering “the richness of products such as pike quenelle”, which occupies a place of honor in his book. . It is also on this occasion that his father cooks the ratatouille, from which Pierre-Etienne will take up the recipe, adding “his touch”, as he loves to do for his chronicles.

One click late

The gastronome, however, did not come to practice until the age of 19. The trigger occurs during military service. On the weekends alone he has to get by: “I didn’t know how to cook pasta! I had learned only two dishes from my mother: mayonnaise on Fridays, fish day. And the caramel, cooked in the laundry on a stove!” But he gets involved, “he gets on the piano and the drums”. He then honed this talent at the Freiburg ski resort in the 1990s. From cross-country ski instructor, he became chef for 180 guests, together with five other enlightened amateur cooks.

Witness of this passion, his mother offers him a course with chef Christian Roth. A revelation. There he learned the basics and, devouring cookery books, he became passionate about “the Bocuse gang, hardworking people who knew how to put the cook back in the foreground!”, For their story, that of typical dishes, local products. From 1995 to 2000, he founded the Auberge du dimanche soir in Geneva, inventing unique dishes among Freiburg expatriates, drawing inspiration from a book on the regional cuisines of France. At the same time he sets off with a friend on the roads of this region, to find and prepare the specialties.

“I’m always curious about what I don’t know.”
Pierre-Étienne Joye

He likes cuisine that resembles him, without frills, “that of a bistro, where you feel at ease, which tells stories and offers gustatory sensations”. Emotions that he loves to convey, to convey: his book honors “authentic and local dishes, such as blanquette, which can be anchored in our regional context. What is their origin, their evolution? This says a lot about our society! The history of cooking intersects with the great.

He? He sails against the tide, uninterested in current nutritional trends and a lover of red meat. But he unites one: the fight against waste. He “eats everything from a beast or a vegetable, omnivorous to please himself and himself.” And, jokingly, he recalls the “Offal” evenings where he and his friends eat everything from the animal, on the hits of the group Abba.

Having published his book, he is now working on revamping his culinary chronicles. With a touch of apprehension for this great enthusiast who is sometimes tormented by moments of doubt. To find inspiration, he can count on hiking, which frees his spirit, or on family trips, his resource …

guest week

The line you don’t want to hear on Monday morning?

“Damn, there’s no more hot water!” Our boiler is capricious.

Who wouldn’t you like to spend your Tuesday with?

With the guy who sold me totally obsolete 90’s cross country skis with bindings that didn’t fit!

What did your childhood Wednesday afternoons smell like?

Wednesdays weren’t public holidays in Broc when I was a kid. But the scents of the chocolate factory have reached us… Sometimes almost too much!

With whom would you share the “Thursday” aperitif?

With my paternal grandfather, whom I didn’t know but who, like me, apparently loved chestnut cream.

It’s Friday, where would you go for a long weekend?

No budget limit? In a building in an unknown city, to then discover it on foot! It’s the best way, not counting the kilometers…

The little craziness you never dared to try on a Saturday?

Try the Dent-de-Broc summit again! Prone to dizziness, had to stop just before…

What will your ninety-year-old Sundays be like?

To eat the dent-de-lion salad, the leaves, in soup… or with the root! NO

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