Visiting culinary whiz shows the way to ‘au naturel’ cooking
It is indeed satisfying to enjoy an incredible French dish in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, but learning how to recreate one like the way a master chef does it is an even better prospect.
Filipino culinary students and professional chefs alike were at the receiving end of this experience and learned the gastronomic side of France through cooking classes from French 2-Star Michelin Chef Thierry Drapeau. Held at the CCA-ICDE campus in Makati City, Chef Drapeau was assisted by French Master Chef Marc Toutain during the successful full-house demos.
From class to table
After a short historical overview of France’s famous regions, Chef Drapeau proceeded with his much-awaited cooking demo of two French dishes, Pumpkin Cream and Parmesan Emulsion and King Prawns Cooked in Minestrone. From patiently sharing cooking techniques to making aesthetically pleasing presentations, his artistic moves and consummate skill succeeded in satisfying the class participants’ hungry minds.
Right after, participants tried their hands in recreating the King Prawns Cooked in Minestrone under the watchful eye of the expert chef. The session culminated in the awarding of certificates to the participants who did a marvelous job of putting into work their newly-gained culinary insights.
Later that evening, select guests were invited to experience the Michelin-starred chef’s table with a stunning four-course meal: Prawns Carpaccio Bergamotte Sorbet Vinaigrette, Seasonal vegetables and herbs, red onion with rose, tomato fondue Rack of lamb with garlic confit, kumquat and tomatoes, and Pineapple, Mango, Lime Pavlova for dessert. These were perfectly paired with bottles of Mica Vinho Verde 2016, Grand Arc Reserve 2015 and Clos des Verdots Moellux 2015, sponsored by Sommelier Selection.
Chef Drapeau drew admiration for his life-long passion as he spoke about his work and celebrated career. Known for cooking what he calls the “cuisine of the soil” cooking, the renowned Michelin chef has made a name and a career through dishes inspired by seasonal produce of The Vendee region of France where he grew up. This deep love for his native roots clearly seeps into Chef Drapeau’s artistic style and philosophy in cooking, as the bounties of the soil are prevalent in his creations.
In his own words, Chef Drapeau describes this as a dedication “to bringing to plate the fragrances he discovers in his own garden and the natural tastes of local produce.”
“My first influence was the produce itself, the ability to touch, and taste it and transform it to make it better. What I believe differentiates it is the quality of the produce, and the fact that I show respect to the produce,” he said.
“The philosophy in my cooking is to work on it like a wine, to look for a balance when combining herbaceous and floral notes, to work on the acidity, the bitterness and the sweetness. I compose my dishes as if they are paintings,” he further explained.
To date, there are only 82 2-star Michelin restaurants in the whole of France, thus receiving it is a pinnacle of one’s culinary career.
“Getting my second Michelin star in 2011 was very emotional after a 20-year career in the culinary world, and I very much wanted to share this moment with my former employers and mentors, to tell them thank you,” said the chef.