Pierre Gagnaire has three Michelin stars under his belt, over 10 successful restaurants worldwide and Le Chef’s title of ‘best chef in the world’ as his own – he’s notably one of the most respected chefs’ in the international culinary industry.
In Dubai to oversee new menu implementations at Pierre’s Bistro & Bar, chef Gagnaire shared a glimpse into his 50+ year career with us…
Tell us about the new menu launching at Pierre’s Bistro and Bar this season…
January saw a Truffle Menu, and in February we’ll be launching a brand-new menu.
As we move into 2019, how do you see the world’s culinary landscape developing? What does today’s diner want from a culinary experience?
There are more and more choices out there, cuisine, in general, becomes more and more playful. Today restaurants have to be places that offer theatrics where a diner is going to have fun and experience emotions which sometimes have nothing to do with food.
A couple of days ago, one of our clients wished to propose to his wife and he requested the presence of a magician; he actually wanted to make a magical moment.
In your absence, who handles the kitchen at Pierre’s Bistro?
Mathieu Balbino, the chef de cuisine is handling the kitchen in my absence.
Which suppliers do you work with in the UAE to source ingredients for the restaurant?
Classic Fine Food, Fresh Express, Casinetto, Repertoire, Longino and Promar.
Where are the ingredients used in the restaurant mainly sourced from?
The ingredients are from Europe specifically Greece, Spain, Italy, Australia and France. There are local resourced vegetables included as well.
On a global level, which chef or chefs do you look to for inspiration and why?
I have been doing this work for the past 50 years. Inspiration comes from the energy and the concentration I put in what I achieve with my teams.
Despite your outstanding success, you’ve always seemed to have shied away from the whole TV/celebrity chef scene. Why is that?
The reason is because when you do that, you spend a lot of time doing that. When you have the opportunity to be in the spotlight, it’s incredible the way that people see you, but if you become famous this doesn’t go away once the TV is switched off. You can be in a supermarket with people pointing at you, and I hate that! People become totally inquisitive and lose their minds around you. I don’t want to be treated like that.
How have you managed to stay grounded during your career?
It’s something I have to work at every day. You must pay attention to the details all the time – put a cross on your agenda and stick to it. You must be conscious every day about this. Especially when children come, otherwise the time will fly. Every detail is important, and you must actively pay attention to the daily needs of your loved ones. Things change, but family is always most important. Life is precious. Live in the now and appreciate what today is, for one day you might look back and realise how happy that time was. It’s easy to get caught up on in work. Don’t take things too seriously.
For chefs reading who would one day love to join your kitchen brigade – what four main qualities do you look for in a chef when hiring?
Honesty, sincerity, rigor and a good mood.
During your years in the kitchen so far, in which ways have you found most beneficial to bettering your skills as a chef?
To have a good psychological health, remain sincere with oneself, and do not let oneself be misled by fashion.
Out of all your career achievements which one are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my honesty and sincerity. I’m always the same, sometimes I have problems like everyone else. But, I have the energy, passion, pleasure to share, and honesty to be myself in front of people. With so many pressures around us these days, it can sometimes be difficult to remain true to yourself and not lose your identity.
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