Five minutes with Guy Savoy

The Michelin-starred chef spoke to Tina Nielsen about his career and inspiration

Guy Savoy needs little introduction – he is one of the leading chefs in France and holds three Michelin stars since 2002. In addition to his signature restaurant, Savoy has opened a number of satellite restaurants, in France and in Las Vegas and earlier this year launched a  brioche boutique in Paris.

The chef moved into the grand building of La Monnaie de Paris on the left bank of the Seine earlier this year. He spoke to Foodservice Consultant about his life as a chef and his inspiration.

What inspired you to become a chef?
This revelation came to me at the age of five or six when my mother, who always took great care to keep the big tin of home-made biscuits well stocked, let me make some langue de chat biscuits. Imitating her, I shaped the little rolls of mixture, laid them on the baking tray, then watched as they suddenly spread themselves, turning golden around the edges.

A few minutes after being removed from the oven, the biscuits were crisp, crunchy, tasting of butter. The memory has lived with me ever since – that was the moment when I understood that cooking was about transforming matter into joy, in real time.

What do you most enjoy about being a chef?
The magic of transformation.

Who has influenced your cooking and career?
My mentors in training, including chocolate maker Louis Marchand and the Troisgros brothers. I have also taken a lot of inspiration from everyday life, and the daily contact I have with craftsmen of the earth and the sea.

How important are the Michelin stars in your career?
They’re like the gold medal in the Olympic Games for an athlete; they don’t add pressure, only passion.

You have a restaurant in Las Vegas – how do the European and American restaurant scenes differ?
What I see is rather more a rapprochement for the better.

What is your assessment of the state of European cuisine?
It’s in great shape, with France as a leader.

What’s next for you? More restaurants?
My passion for cooking is my motor, and my motor never stops.

Guy Savoy also spoke about moving into the expansive and bright kitchens at La Monnaie. Look out for the article in full in the Q4 edition of Foodservice Consultant.

Tina Nielsen

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