FOURty Seconds with Alain Passard

30 Aug 2016
2 min read
The infamous chef owner of three star restaurant, L’Arpege in Paris, does not seek innovation for innovation sake. Colour, consistency and discretion; serenity and purity of lines are all things synonymous with Passard’s cooking. FOUR finds out more…

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

My family home in Brittany, was located between a bakery and a restaurantandmy room was right next to the bakery. For years I woke at 4am to the smell of fresh bread and pastries. Then, my grandmother Louise Passard passed me on all her culinary secrets and her love of fine cooking. I remember the smell of the shellfish: cockles and scallops she was cooking when I was a little boy.

What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

Again my grandmother Louise. She brought me at the market all the time and then at home, we prepared and cook the ingredients we just bought. She taught me how to work the flame, the “school of fire”. We used to sat together around the fire in her kitchen.I am what I am today thanks to her!

Describe your culinary style…

I hope it is still not defined, as I would mean the end of my career. When you find your style, there is no more work to do!

What would you say is the main focus for your restaurants?

Creativity!! In the service, the way we welcome our customers, the way we cook!

What do you think makes a restaurant successful?

Again creativity.I constantly renew my cuisine, and my main focus is to respect the seasons and nature!

You recently appeared at Creutz and Partners’ Villa Louise, what would you say was the main concept that you tried to convey through your menu?

Seasonality! The place was really creative with a lot of art work, I tried to respect the place by bringing a lot of creativity and art in the plates.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

The vegetables grown in my kitchen gardens! And again, I may repeat myself but seasonality and nature are indispensable to realise my cuisine.

What kind of experience did you aim to give guests at the Villa Louise cooking facility when you appeared there for your guest chef appearance?

Value the 5 senses. Beauty of gesture, the sound of the flame, the smell and taste of the plates, and the beauty of the dish.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?

I have no advice as I would change nothing.At 14 years old, I decided to be a cook, I have never changed my mind since.

What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?

Find the best vegetable pairings, kind of harmony in the plate, in the bottom of the casserole.

What is your guilty pleasure?


What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

“Chez Gervais”! In Chenecey-Buillon, near Besançon ! It is a simple, fresh and tasty French cuisine with a strong focus on sauces and right cooking and I love it!

Find out more about Chef Passard