Chef Anne-Sophie Pic grew up with an intuitive love of food. Growing up in France, she was surrounded by the notion of good food thanks to her chef father, Jacques Pic, and grandfather, chef André Pic, who owned France’s top five-star hotel and three Michelin star restaurants, Maison Pic, located in Valence.
After initially rejecting the family trade by embarking on a career in management, Anne-Sophie realised her dream to follow in the footsteps of the men in her family in 1992 at the tender age of 23. Returning to Maison Pic to begin her training, Anne-Sophie was wholly unaware that just three months later she would become head chef when her father sadly passed away. In 2005 much to chef her disappointment the restaurant lost its third star. Within two years, however, a hard-working Anne-Sophie re-established what she felt symbolised her ‘father’s star’, when the restaurant regained its three Michelin star status in 2007.
Since, Sophie has opened two additional restaurants, Restaurant Anne-Sophie Pic in Lusanne, Switzerland, which was awarded two Michelin stars in 2009 and restaurant La Dame de Pic which received its first Michelin star in 2013.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
Michel Bras’ fine tart with cep mushrooms which I tasted some years ago.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
My father is crazy about rugby and he passed this on to me. During the last world cup I enthusiastically followed the birth of ‘Chabal-mania’, brimming with pride for this man from Valence who had attracted great attention all over the world. As a kind of tribute, I had a kitchen overall embroidered with his name and our logo and waited for him to visit so I could present him with it. One day, on the occasion of an unexpected visit, my husband discreetly accompanied him into the kitchen. I hadn’t seen him come in. I was wondering who that waiter was who had a very imposing physique! It was only when I looked up that I recognised Sébastien Chabal: to my great surprise, our national champion was gearing up to go out into the dining room with a tray...
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Get up early on Saturday morning to go to the market and get up early on Sunday morning to be ready on time.
- 3 Michelin stars | Maison Pic
- Best Female Chef, 2011 | The World's 50 Best Restaurants
285 Avenue Victor Hugo
Valence, Drôme, France
+33 4 75 44 15 32
Pictures © Jeff Nalin & Stéphane Asseline