FOURty Seconds With Franck Giovannini

21 Dec 2018
2 min read
Franck Giovannini helms Switzerland’s three-Michelin-starred Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, one of Europe’s very best restaurants. After continuing in the accomplished footsteps of the late chef-owner Benoît Violier, Giovannini’s ingredient obsession and attention to detail has seen the restaurant continue to impress. We talked FOURty seconds of foodie questions to find out more. 

Tell us, what inspired you to become a chef?
When I was little, my mom used to cook fresh good food, real cuisine, not frozen food

Where did you train? Tell us more about your culinary background…
In 1989, I did my apprenticeship at the Crown Inn, Apples, in the Canton of Vaud in the ranks of Chief Claude Joseph. 1993, I moved to Canada where I officiated as a kitchen commis at Dean Ross Catering in Victoria. In 1994, I became chef de partie at L’Espinasse at the St. Regis restaurant, in New York City, under the direction of Chef Gray Kunz.

In 1995, I returned to Switzerland and worked under the direction of Frédy Girardet at the Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier, as chef de partie.

What’s your favourite winter dish?
Elegant cylinder of Cardoons from Crissier with black truffle and a light cream deglazed with vintage madeira wine.

What can guests expect from a meal at Restaurant de l’Hôtel de ville de Crissier?
A personalised experience, rediscovering and enjoying fresh products right from the season, with their original tastes.

What does it take to achieve a Michelin star?
They’re the product of high quality, and constancy, regularity.

Do you have any role models?
Frédy Girardet, Philippe Rochat, Benoît Violier.

What do you predict will be 2019’s biggest food trend?
A return to local products… products that come from the soil.

Name three of your top restaurants.
1 Schauenstein Schloss Restaurant, by Andreas Caminada
2 Flocons de Sel Restaurant, by Emmanuel Renaut
3 Dal Pescatore Restaurant, by Antonio Santini

What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
It’s a world where you have to be generous, you have to like to please people, and to love people.

Finally…what’s your favourite midnight snack?
Simple – cheese and bread.

Try Franck’s dishes for yourself
Rue d’Yverdon 1, 1023 Crissier, Switzerland


Words by Sophie Ritchie