Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Inside Michelin-Starred Kitchens

The Netflix series "Chef's Table France" has four episodes about French chefs whose restaurants are designated with stars in the Guide Michelin. Michel Troisgros***, Adeline Grattard*, Alexandre Coullion**, and Alain Passard*** are remarkably accomplished and creative individuals, and director David Gelb presents them with great skill and artistry, including wonderful classical music accompanying the scenes of food preparation.

I especially enjoyed seeing the chefs' kitchens --  right, from top to bottom are screen shots of the kitchens of Coullion, Troisgros, and Grattard.

Besides the kitchen shots, I also loved the beautiful panoramas of urban landscapes and of the countryside surrounding each restaurant; images of Grattard and her husband/business partner visiting Hong Kong where they receive their inspiration; and the scenes of chefs shopping at open-air markets and Coullion working with local fishermen in his seaside town.

In interviews with the chefs themselves Gelb explores their lives and the histories of these three highly admired restaurants.
  • Coullion inherited a modest family restaurant in a small town on a quite remote island. He developed it from a small local place to one with international recognition for very innovative preparations of seafood and vegetables.
  • Michel Troisgros inherited the already-3-starred restaurant of his father and uncle, which has one of the longest runs of  Michelin recognition ever. He's now in the process of training his son -- maybe both of his sons -- to take over some day. This episode included much more history as the restaurant has been famous and especially influential for so long.
  • Passard took over an already famous restaurant and altered its classical menu to be mainly vegetarian and very extreme in its approach to cuisine.
  • Grattard and her husband and partner are more remarkable, in that they had no reputation or history in high-level French cuisine, and created something entirely new: a kind of French-Hong Kong fusion cuisine accompanied by tastings of various teas (as shown at top) rather than wine flights.
I found the chefs' personalities quite interesting. Passard seemed almost unbearably arrogant and full of himself. He even claims to have invented “garden to table.” Puh-leeze! Both Grattard and Coullion were  extremely likable and not at all arrogant about their success -- almost the contrary. They described how they got their ideas for innovative menus and presentations. As in other Chef's Table episodes from other places, the viewer gets to see numerous dishes as they are plated and prepared for service. A few from the Michel Troisgros episode:


Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I'm definitely looking forward to watching this...thank you for the heads up.

Kitchen Riffs said...

What a wonderful post! So full on info. I had no idea this was one (in my defense, we just don't watch much TV -- I bet we haven't turned in on in weeks!). But this looks really worth watching. Thanks! And Happy New Year.

Margo said...

Sounds like an interesting series. Thanks. Missed you at yoga.

Fran @ Gday Souffle said...

Thanks for this- the photos are giving me new ideas for plating! I'm not on Netflix yet- but should do soon so I can access this series!

Amanda said...

I haven't seen this programme but I would love to see it. I recently went to a Michelin restaurant in the UK and it was the best meal I've ever had!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I'll have to look for this one on Netflix--it looks interesting. ;-)

Jeanie said...

Totally unfamiliar with this but it sounds really interesting!