Together with Gilles Dupont, Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Thomas Byrne heads up l'Auberge du Lion d’Or. Classically trained at renowned establishments, Dublin-born Chef Byrne likes to describe cuisine as ephemeral art, similar to the work of a florist. Rigorous and discreet, he has perfectly mastered a spontaneous art.
As a music lover and an opera singer, he speaks about cuisine with the same passion as a composer. With 40 years experience, he always takes great pleasure in creating symphonies of flavours based on a range of his beliefs. This jovial Irishman, who maintains that "cuisine is a joy", offers harmonies of aromas, which respect the ingredients and choice of products. Having left his native city to go to London to Westminster Catering College, he started at the bottom and learnt hisprofession in famous places like the Intercontinental in London and Hamburg
In 1977 he joined the Intercontinental in Geneva and worked his way up from job to job to become chef at the French restaurant “Les Continents”, where he met Gilles Dupont who had become executive chef for all the restaurants at the hotel. After a period of several years working, in 1996, he decided to go with Gilles Dupont to take over L’Auberge du Lion d’Or in Coligny. According to Thomas Byrne, cuisine is about “providing pleasure while understanding this pleasure oneself”.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
The first time that I ate at Girardet’s restaurant and also at Bocuse!
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
I was in the middle of preparing a buffet of desserts for children at the home of some customers when my glasses fell into the chocolate fondue! The children fell about laughing and those same customers gave me a pair of magnetic glasses which clip on in front so they always remain round my neck!
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
To want to cook and to make something simple with top-quality produce. You cook best when it’s something you really want to do!
- Michelin star | Auberge du Lion d’Or
5, place Pierre-Gautier
+ 41 (0)22 736 44 32