One&Only The Palm Executive Chef, Yannick Alléno on the magic of cuisine.
Artists, despite their wide range, have preference for certain tools that they keep using again and again in their art. what are some of the ingredients or sauces that are consistently your favorite in the kitchen?
I would say sauce, because it’s truly the verb of French cuisine. It makes eighty per cent of a dish because it brings together the different elements on the plate and creates coherence and harmony. It has always been part of French cuisine’s DNA but had fallen out of favour in the last decade.
We decided to reintegrate it in our cuisine, modernizing it with the Extraction® process that really concentrates all the taste of the product with an incredible strength and intensity. From there, you can blend many different Extractions® to create new modern sauces, that would be less fat or salty but tastier.
“Being recognized as a chef and rewarded by three Michelin stars twice is truly a dream come true, because we believe these distinctions represent a real enthusiasm towards Modern Cuisine."
What would you consider to be your signature dish? Something that you feel has come to define your crafting method?
I don’t think we have a signature dish in particular, as we try to create new dishes and offer our client new experiences. Maybe our signature is our modern cuisine that starts with the traditional basis of French cuisine and then innovates to propose something new, something coherent with the world we live in. At STAY by Yannick Alléno at One&Only The Palm, I embrace this signature style with a focus on imaginative cuisine. I present dishes that showcase classic cooking methods, reinterpreted in a contemporary fashion.
Parisian cuisine has always been renowned for its simplicity and elegance. Would you say that stay by yannick alléno at one&only the palm offers classic french fine dining or is it more of a modern and contemporary approach?
At STAY by Yannick Alléno at One&Only The Palm we hope to bring a modern vision of a fine- dining restaurant, one that offers a true French and modern culinary treat based on great food, creativity, and generosity. As always, our focus is the taste, and our challenge is to deliver an affordable, refined, and sharp cuisine through a wide selection of iconic or modern French dishes in order to please a demanding international clientele in a stylish, comfortable environment.
When was it that you were certain you wanted to be a chef? Has it been a life-long passion?
From the age of eight, I knew that I wanted to be a chef. Food is a family tradition. My grandmother was a great inspiration to me and my parents used to manage small bistros in the Parisian suburbs. They clearly passed on their passion to me. At the Age of 15, I started to work in the kitchen – my father wanted to check if I really was made for this profession, so he asked Gabriel Biscay to find me a job at the Relais Louis XIII with Manuel Martinez. Gabriel Biscay told my father: “If he perseveres, you can shelve your doubts”. I persevered.
Who did you meet or work with that had a long-lasting impact on your career as a chef?
One of my finest professional encounters was with Louis Grondard, when I worked at Drouant. He taught me almost everything I know today. But all of the chefs with whom I learned my trade – six MOF – Best Craftsmen in France – had a real impact on my career: Manuel Martinez, Gabriel Biscaye, Roland Durand, Martial Henguehard, Jacky Fréon, and again Louis Grondard. They taught me perfection in my work. There are also those who have supported me a lot. Paul Bocuse, in particular, has always been extremely kind to me since our meeting at the Bocuse d’Or in 1999. He has also helped me and encouraged me many times. He really was the greatest chef.
What was the most pleasant dining experience you have had at another restaurant? And what defines a perfect dining experience for you?
I feel very lucky, because I eat in great restaurants quite often. And the best experiences for me, are when I’m discovering new tastes, when chefs offer new experiences. But if I had to choose, it would be Jamin, the former 3-star restaurant of Joel Robuchon. I ate his soupe chaude de foie gras à la gelée de poule (hot foie gras soup with poultry aspic). It has closed more than 20 years ago but the memory I have of this dish is so powerful. It is the magic of cuisine!
What advice would you give someone who wants to become a chef? Is a formal training necessary or can it be self-taught?
Being a Chef is all about gesture, perseverance and hard work. It is essentially a very repetitive work. You can only acquire the right, flawless move when you’ve done it a thousand times at least. So, If I had one tip, it would be to follow your passion and not be afraid to work. Of course, you need to have instinct and creativity, but your brain, your inventiveness is like a muscle that one can develop and that again is work. It is all about practicing, improving yourself, and finding new solutions, always. For me, talent is 90% of hard work and I think that 100% of those who succeeded are those who kept trying.
Having secured your reputation as one of the world’s most highly regarded chefs, how do you build on this success? What should we expect next from chef yannick alléno?
Being recognized as a chef and rewarded by three Michelin stars twice is truly a dream come true, because we believe these distinctions represent a real enthusiasm towards Modern Cuisine. So, it really encourages us to keep on exploring further and further in this modernity and most importantly, to satisfy our clients by sharing moments of gastronomic happiness with them. I am currently planning a trip to Dubai in October to visit One&Only The Palm where I curate the culinary experience for guests and oversee all three restaurants. I’ll be spending time with the chefs and of course, guests of the resort, as well as hosting exclusive Legend Dinners at STAY by Yannick Alléno at One&Only The Palm.
To book a table at STAY by Yannick Alléno at One&Only The Palm, please contact +971 4 440 1030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find the latest updates on the Legend Dinners hosted by Yannick Alléno, please visit www.oneandonlyresorts.com