Acclaimed French chef offers cooking class in Bangkok

Issaya Cooking Studio is to welcome world-acclaimed chef Alain Passard of Paris’ three Michelin-starred restaurant Arpège. The French culinary wizard will be at the state-of-the-art cooking school-cum-intimate dining venue to conduct a series of masterclasses and chef’s table dinners from June 14-17.

In virtue of his gastronomic dexterity and exceptional cuisine, Passard has lately been voted by a panel of 534 fellow chefs (each with a two- or three-star rating) at the top of a 2017 list of the best 100 chefs around the world. The award, organised by France’s Le Chef magazine, was announced in November last year at the Chefs World Summit in Monaco.

He was also a recipient of the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants Lifetime Achievement Award.

Born in Brittany, northwestern France, Passard made his debut at traditional French restaurant Le Lion d’Or of Liffré from 1971 to 1975 under Michel Kéréver, one of the rare star-studded Bretons at that time.

Chef Alain Passard of Paris’ three Michelin-starred restaurant Arpège.

Over the following years Passard was trained under renowned masters, including haute-cuisine chef Gaston Boyer and nouvelle-cuisine chef Alain Senderens. At the age of 26 and while heading the kitchen of Le Duc d’Enghien restaurant in a Paris suburb, he received his first two Michelin stars. Another two-star accolade followed when he led Restaurant Carlton in Brussels, Belgium, in 1985.

Passard took over Senderens’ restaurant, Archestrate, in 1986 and turned it into Arpège. A year later the restaurant received one Michelin star following by two stars in the next. Arpège was ranked with three stars in 1996 and has maintained the high distinction every year since.

Passard’s highly-treasured vegetable-inspired dishes took flight in 2001. Of it, the menu is crafted based on the seasons and prepared only with the vegetables of his labour. He prides himself on proposing rich, natural-tasting and organic-grown products.

Thanks to his own organic gardens in three different regions of France as well as support from local artisan farmers, Passard’s improvised menu, which might range from hybrid spinach with brown butter, baby carrots and orange; spring-planting onion gratin with lemon confit; hay-roasted chicken, wild-caught Chausey lobster; and free-range lamb raised in the salt marsh meadows, always please palates and is packed with surprises.

He once said: “Between the gardeners and me, we discuss carrots and beetroot like others speak of Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.”

In his kitchen you can find asparagus, carrots and leeks come from a small district of Sarthe in Pays-de-la-Loire region; celeriac and cabbage from Normandy’s Eure vicinity; and aromatic herbs from Manche, a bordering area between Pays de la Loire and Brittany.

To offer highbrow epicures in Bangkok a once-in-a-lifetime hands-on experience with the world’s greatest chef, Passard’s masterclass at Issaya Cooking Studio will take the participating guests through a selection of four awe-inspiring dishes prepared to the chef’s signature recipes and with seasonal ingredients flown in especially from his gardens in France.

Via reservation, the classes will be held daily at 11am–2pm, on June 14-17, and cost 5,900 baht per person per class.

For those who would love to be indulged by Passard’s globally-celebrated cuisine while having an opportunity to interact with the chef and observe his work, there’s a nine-course chef’s table wine dinner going on nightly during his four-day visit.

The menu promises to reflect his utmost respect for natural produce by preserving their colour, essence, hues and scent while highlighting his finest creativity.

Dinner starts at 7pm and is priced 12,500 baht per person. Seats are limited.

For more information and reservations, call Issaya Cooking Studio at 02-160-5636 or email booking@issayastudio.com.