FOURty Seconds with Charles Pelletier and Frédéric Peneau

08 Jan 2016
2 min read
The brains behind Serge et le Phoque, a contemporary French restaurant in the heart of the Wan Chai district, Charles Pelletier and Fréd Peneau talk to FOUR about their “concept without a concept”…

After receiving their first Michelin star in late 2015, The team behind the concept of Serge et le Phoque consists of an unlikely trio;Frédéric Peneau,the former business partnerof Iñaki Aizpitarte at the award-winning,Le Chateaubriand, chef Christophe Pelé and interior designer turned restauranteur Charles Pelletier, but yet it somehow works and not better prove of this is through the Michelin star it received in the latter half of 2015. With thecontemporary French restaurant in the heart of the Wan Chai district in Hong Kong going from strength to strength, FOURfind out what else is in store…

How did you get into your line of work?

Fred |It was a childhood dream/obsession of mine to own a restaurant, but my parents said “no” and prevented me from pursuing that dream.Thus I went to study architecture and after that, made the decision to open my own restaurant.My second project, Le Dauphin was designed in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas.

How did the concept of Serge et le phoque come about? Tell us a bit about the restaurant…

Fred &Charles |Charles was in Hong Kong, and we both decided to open a restaurant that was a “concept without a concept”, where we could do what we like, entertain and feed people.Too many people forget what it’s like to relax and enjoy a dining experience.We also wanted to bring back the restaurateuas we feel this role has diminished recently in the industry.

What can guests expect at Serge et le phoque?

Fred &Charles |Guests should come and dine with an open mind and be ready for surprises.Don’t come with expectations of certain dishes or a specific restaurant atmosphere because we like to have fun and we want diners to have fun as well.

How did you decide on the menu?

Fred &Charles |Menu relies on seasonal ingredients and products available for purchase at that time.

What would you say has inspired the dishes the most?

Fred &Charles |Everything! Life, music, travel, people…

Describe how you see your own culinary style and how it has evolved over the years…

Fred |Working with great chefs like Inaki Aizpitarte and Christophe Pele has been inspirational.We don’t create dishes to satisfy the diner, but more for ourselves out of enjoyment and exploration. This is something we also hope visitors to the restaurant will learn to appreciate.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

Fred &Charles |All kinds of citrus; we use lots of limes in our dishes at Serge et le phoque.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

Fred &Charles |Cooking for Pierre Gagnaire, he’s truly inspiration al to us and has changed the way we cook and run our restaurant.

What’s next for you?

Fred &Charles |We’re opening Serge et le phoque in London in 2016!

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

Fred |Always, Chateaubriand and Etxebarri.

Serge et le Phoque

Tower 1,The Zenith

3 Wan Chai Rd

Wan Chai,

Hong Kong

+852 5465 2000