AFP, published on Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 2:04 p.m.
“I am uncompromising”, says Guy Savoy, elected for the sixth time best chef in the world by the La List ranking, whether it is a question of taste, the promotion of the French art of living or the management of its teams.
Unbeatable in this aggregator which establishes its prize list based on reviews from the international press and gastronomic guides, some explain this success by the “consensual” side of its cuisine.
“To please everyone? That’s not the goal. I am uncompromising, I want to be unique,” the 69-year-old three-star chef told AFP in his restaurant at the Monnaie de Paris on the quays of Paris. Seine.
But “gluttony is primary for me. I don’t want to intellectualize. I enjoy myself or I don’t enjoy myself”.
A lukewarm juice of mushrooms and watercress precedes the champagne, and the appetizer begins with Brussels sprouts, one of the most unloved foods, in tempura.
Bright green spinach, Guy Savoy’s “favorite vegetable”, “just dropped, cooked in seconds” punctuates the meal in dishes of sea urchin tongues with caviar, lobster with carrots or vegetable wellington with truffles.
“I only like Brussels sprouts shriveled and I don’t eat trellis-coloured spinach,” says Guy Savoy, who dares to offer products which, if poorly prepared, could have led to traumatic experiences.
– Defending wine –
Breaking “all the academic rules”, this autumn it accompanies the hare à la royale with a Sauternes, sweet wine which suffers from a cheesy image.
He says he “does not adhere” to the fashion for non-alcoholic food and drink pairings, which came from Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries and which is settling in France.
“We export 14 billion euros worth of wines and spirits. It is directly linked to tourism. People who have drunk and eaten French products with us, want to drink again what has given them sensations”.
“Airbuses are made everywhere. Wines are landscapes, jobs that will never be relocated, unique know-how”, he adds.
He admits having learned from the Anglo-Saxons that the decor was important and that “rock and roll places” were needed to succeed, while the French “thought that the welcome and the cuisine were enough”.
But “the DNA of French cuisine is the ideal marriage between cuisine and wine and we are a showcase for the French art of living”.
– “From 8:30 a.m.” –
Having experienced its best year in 2019, the restaurant is picking up again after the health crisis, badly experienced by the chef because of the decisions “imposed” on the profession.
He has just published a book, “The gesture and the way, long live French cuisine” on this period to “evacuate the stench” of confinements.
The restaurant “is full for lunch and dinner”, the Asians returned – Koreans, but also Thais, Malaysians and Indonesians as well as Americans and Canadians.
If the environment is struggling to recruit, with restaurants closing at noon or reducing the opening days, Guy Savoy is not in this configuration. After the post-Covid reopening, “everyone was there, from the last trainee to the oldest. There are people who have 30 years of house”.
“I pay them and I love them. If you just love them, they’ll feel like you’re fooling them. If you just pay them an amount on a payslip. I’m in the middle of them from 8:30 a.m. “.
He refuses to feel like he’s in crisis again as “we hear absolutely crazy numbers about the increase in energy”.
“I can’t wake up in the morning and tell myself what my electricity bill is going to be. I’m used to the vagaries, the fish take 50% increase if there is a storm”.