Chef Pierre Gagnaire at the ANA InterContinental Hotel
I'm so lucky! Yesterday I spent the whole day in culinary extravaganza heaven magic wonderland! Yes, I was at Pierre Gagnaire's amazing restaurant in Tokyo. I ate his surprising, wonderful dishes and when I was fully in love with the man who created such wonders, Pierre arrived to greet his guests. He is charming, handsome and unique, none surprising after tasting his creations.
After lunch I interviewed him and fell even more in love with him! His fantastic personality is well reflected in his art: his beautiful cuisine.
The plates are designed by Pierre and made into form by Sylvie Coquet @ Limoges porcelain. Your table is ready***
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I asked manager Michel Delepine san, who is Pierre's trusted confidante and who opened many of his restaurants around the world, to give us a close-up of the lovely plate--and Michel's moustache! Super!
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Michel is the best person to explain the details of each dish as he loves and knows Pierre Gagnaire and the food he creates.
See the appetizers?
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Start with the most exotic of them all in the center: Watermelon mousse with chorizo, accented by red pepper. Magical fun! Is this food? Not what we usually eat but it's so interesting, delicious and surprising that you will enjoy every morsel immensely. Intense & gentle emotions are expressed with and through these dishes and I think that's exactly how their creator, Pierre is.
On the left: Beetroot ice cream, grilled eggplant caviar! Whatever one anticipates is not what one gets: reality is more magical at Pierre Gagnaire.
You have to go to savor them and know the rest...
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Pierre Gagnaire in the kitchen, where he's happily at home.
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Grilled and marinated scallops with Amontillado, avocado, lime and cucumber gelee.
Guess what is under the scallops? It's not on the menu. It will be a perfect surprise. My friend and I guessed and we were both far from the truth. That's typical of Pierre's cuisine: surprise, awe, amazement.
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Executive Chef Olivier Chaignon is in charge and he runs the smoothest and quietest kitchen I have ever seen. I was waitressing for many years in the US and have never been to such a calm and nice kitchen as this one. Very impressive!!!
Olivier is very young but a veteran Pierre Gagnaire chef and Pierre clearly loves and trusts him completely.
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Roasted sea bass with potato cake and zucchini mousse. This is the perfect dish! I could eat it very, very often. Simple and each molecule divine. Top-to-bottom mixed with bottom-up home cooking. The potato is comfort food of great-grandma's home cooking, the zucchini is the essence of the greenest, freshest zucchini and the fish is grilled to perfection: crispy, juicy, not salty! Pierre's cooking is intense and brave so you have to be, too. Your reward? Taste fantasy!
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Pierre overseeing the work of Sous Chef, Yosuke Akasaka
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Yosuke and Olivier, both cute, young and talented. Pierre considers them his "sons". When Pierre is not here, Olivier is in charge and next in line is Yosuke.
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Roasted lamb, Paimpol beans fricasse with coriander. Meat-eaters will absolutely love this dish. I'd love to have a little container of the beans in my fridge as I adore them! So so delicious with such wonderful texture and accented by mystery spices. As I ate Pierre's dishes, with one bite I was in Hungary at my great-grandma's house, next in Fez in Morocco, then in a ryokan in Japan but again, the whole time I was with Pierre. Eating at his restaurant is like a trip through one's culinary history and exploring new territories. Very exciting and very fun. Lots of pleasure. I am so thankful! Merci beaucoup, Pierre Gagnaire!
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Pretty, cute, one of the many desserts one is presented with. Apple compote & jelly with chocolate hazelnut sponge cake & much more! These gifts of nature and men are created by Takahiro Moriya san who worked with Pierre in Paris. Look at Pierre and Moriya san, old friends:
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Pierre Gagnaire's restaurant is on the 36th floor of the ANA InterContinental Hotel in Tokyo:
ANA InterContinental Hotel Tokyo
Pierre is in town NOW so reserve and experience one of life's great surprise pleasures: eating food that has a narrative you might have never thought of: the Pierre Gagnaire story. I can tell you that it starts out with a bang and continues with even more bangs. Pure fun! The end: you gotta find out for yourself! One thing is certain: this story has a happy ending!
Pierre Gagnaire's website in French
Pierre Gagnaire Info @ Starchefs.com
Once you take the elevator to the 36th floor, you're in design heaven. From the darkness of the elevator hall you step into light and happiness. Pink flowers, sunshine and an interior fit for kings and queens--us, the guests -designed by Ilya Corporation. Gorgeous!
Ilya Corporation
Junko Koshino
The staff wear supercute uniforms by Junko Koshino: black with subtle red details, smoking vests with tails and really nice attitudes. Oh, and the chairs are comfortable! Gosh, I'd like to have them in my home.
My interview: Pierre Gagnaire's Words to Live by
As a special treat for readers, those who mention The Japan Times when booking a dinner reservation for August or September at Pierre Gagnaire's Tokyo ANA InterContinental Hotel restaurant will receive a glass of champagne with their meal, compliments of the chef.
Please see the ANA Intercontinental Hotel website below to reserve:
Pierre Gagnaire @ANA InterContinental Hotel, Tokyo
The ANA hotel used to be a pretty drab but nice & polite business hotel managed by ANA, but now it's a hip international hub since the InterContinental group took over. Yesterday, Friday, the lobby was full of people & music. 80's hits--e.g. Sade's Never as good as the first time--, gave it an atmosphere of traveling excitement. I liked it!
More later!
Judit
【2010/07/24 18:12】 | etc. | トラックバック(0) | コメント(0)
Judit Kawaguchi's (川口ユディ) FAN BLOG


がんばれ日本!応援団長、川口ユディ(NHK Weekend Japanology人気レポーター, Japan Timesコラムニスト)のファンブログ

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