His insatiable appetiteis notoriously known. And so is his sense of humor. Chef Yannick Alléno is certainly one of the most influential French chefs in the world. With two Michelin three-starred restaurants and a portfolio of over a dozen restaurants around the world, the Parisian remains a tireless ambassador for the renaissance of Modern French cuisine.
No wonder Moët & Chandon chose to partner with him back in 2014 – a collaboration filled with love and bubbles, that continues up to this day to ultimately encounter a playful culinary era. Mainly because they both share a never-ending passion for gastronomy as an innovative art form.
Which lead to the opening of what could possibly be Paris’ most exclusive restaurant space. The concept is named “Inside” — literally a room inside the state-of-the-art kitchen in Pavilion Ledoyen — one of Paris’ oldest and most prestigious restaurants. Seating only six guests at a time, it is designed for fine dining lovers and champagne connoisseurs: guests are able to taste Pavilion Ledoyen’s three-Michelin starred modern cuisine paired with some of the rarest and most sophisticated vintage champagnes.This was, naturally, done in collaboration with Moet & Chandon a few months ago. In my eyes: a culinary paradise. And exclusive as hell.
I was honored to meet and dine with Yannick Alléno twice this past year, celebrating 150 years since the birth of the magnificent Impérial – deeply enjoyed every single bite of the products of his culinary adventures, and laughed so hard with his unique sense of humor while serving – still can’t decide whether he is a superstar or a chef. Yes, he is both.
[For chef Yannick Alléno, the last two years have been excellent: he earned three Michelin stars for Le 1947, his restaurant at Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, and maintained three stars for Alléno Paris at Pavillon Ledoyen, the latter debuting on the exclusive World’s 50 Best Restaurants, entering its ranks at number 31.]
Your favorite color?
The pasta gratin, a real comfort dish for me.
The one ingredient you’d prefer to never use.
Laurence Bonnel, my wife.
Name the man you have looked up to, growing up. Who inspired you to be the man you have become?
Paul Bocuse, of course!
Name the most stylish man (dead or alive).
A chef you look up to.
There are many chefs. It’s very hard to respond to the question because there is a lot of chefs so talented. I see a large global dynamic. It’s very important to observe all the young chefs. The new generation is sensational.
Describe yourself using three words.
Parisien, local and hedonist.
What is the ultimate luxury for you.
Taste a bottle of wine with my wife in our Italian house.
What inspires you the most for each new dish or menu?
Everything. A smile, a scent, the sunbeam, the smell of the rain falling on the bitumen. Everything is a source of inspiration.
Describe cooking in three words.
Work, passion and quality product.
If you were a dish, what would it be?
“Chicken in the bottle”, the recipe of my grand-mother.
The most important lesson you were taught within a kitchen.
Listen and see the product to create the best dish.
When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
Very early, I grew in the middle of stoves.
How important are the ingredients used? What really constitutes luxury, when it comes to food?
The ingredients are the unique base of a dish, so obviouslythey are the most important. The luxury in cuisine, it’s simply used quality products which is born thanks to the love of the farmer.
Who is the client that you would ideally serve?
A gourmet that search a real culinary experience.
Where do you imagine yourself to be in –say- ten years from now?
Here or somewhere else but never far away of a stove.
Imagine you were to host a private dinner party, say for five guests. Who would you invite, serve and dine with? (They can be dead or alive, imaginary list) .
August Escoffier, Pablo Picasso, Ayrton Senna, my grand-mother.
What can be considered as “ethical”, “modern” and “sustainable” when it comes down to cooking?
The choice of the product used. Today, it’s a really important to opt for everything local and seasonal.
Since July 2014, you have been running restaurant “Pavillon Ledoyen” in Paris. What was the biggest lesson that this culinary adventure taught you? –
I feel more than ever before, that if you want something, you always find a solution. Everything is possible with the commitment, passion and imagination.
Oscar Wilde once said “Regrets, just like mistakes, make a gentleman”. What is the one thing you regret having done? What would you have done differently on your path?
I live my life fully, I always afforded the challenges and difficulties. I’m a lucky man, I don’t have too many regrets. To make mistakes is human, it helps us to advance. Important is to admit them, to learn from them, to say “sorry” if needed and to move forward.
It is a supreme and historic distinction for you to hold two restaurants with three Michelin stars. What does this mean to you?
I’m honored every year to keep my stars but the supreme distinction is the smile of my clients when they eat in one of my restaurants.