Avant-Garde! Battle of the Chefs

25 Dec 2014
2 min read
This week we have a star-studded bonanza, with two three Michelin-starred chefs battling it out over FOUR questions to find out which is more avant-garde | Presenting Arnaud Bignon v. Thomas Bühner…
Arnaud Bignon

What’s the most scientific piece of equipment in your kitchen?

I don’t have any crazy machines that I am using at the moment….just one dehydrator which I use a lot for the soft vegetable meringues, and to dry a lot of things. (1)

Are you passionate about liquid nitrogen?

We are always forming fresh and inspiring ideas, not only with ingredient combinations but with techniques and technologies.I find the use of liquid nitrogen very interesting, especially when used in desserts and small canapés. I am yet to use it at The Greenhouse but it is something I am currently contemplating, so watch this space! (2)

Could you describe your cooking style for us?

My style of cooking focuses on 3 factors, the quality of the products (this is the most important for me), the originality of the taste – I constantly strive to find an unusual flavour combinations – and lastly the plating – I love playing with colour, relief and texture here. (1, because’originility’ is key)

What’s your favourite meal to make at home?

At home I enjoy cooking with my children so we tend to make simple dishes like homemade pizza – this way they can add their favourite toppings. Fregola Sarda is also a favourite with whatever vegetables, meat and fish are in season. (0)

Thomas Bühner

What’s the most scientific piece of equipment in your kitchen?

A rotary evaporator. (1)

Are you passionate about liquid nitrogen

No. We do have it in thekitchen but I could easily live without it. (0)

Could you describe your cooking style for us?

My three-dimensional aromatic cuisine initially captivates by each individual product’s natural flavor. After all, I am convinced there is no more authentic and intense flavor than the original, pure flavour of a product.

The second dimension describes how I prepare my dishes, as my cuisine is dominated by my penchant for low-temperature cooking. My motto is “take your foot off the gas”, and by this I am not only referring to the time taken to prepare a dish but, in particular, to the temperature at which it is cooked.

The third dimension represents the extensive range of my cuisine: rather than viewing my set menus as a collection of disparate courses, I liken them to a symphony. Sometimes the violin can be heard, at other times it is the oboe – but strong emotions are only ever aroused when the whole orchestra comes together. I personally love these supposed opposites, and hopefully know how to skilfully compose them when assembling my set menus: purist dishes are juxtaposed with playfully arranged plates, creating a sensuous dramaturgy. (2 – what a extravanganza ofavant-garde-isms!)

What’s your favourite meal to make at home?

Anything someone cooks with love for me. (0)

And The Winner Is…

Arnaud Bignon – 4|Thomas Bühner – 3

What a battle! only just comes out the winner, with his love of liquid nitrogen, although didn’t let him go without a culinary fight.