SHINING STARS

The Guide is pleased to introduce restaurants in Vietnam boasting Michelin-starred chefs

By Jessica Nguyen on December 10,2018 09:44 AM

SHINING STARS

Celebrity British chef Gordon Ramsay actually cried and felt as sad as if he “had lost a lover” one day in February 2014 when his “The London NYC” restaurant lost both of its Michelin stars. “I started crying when I lost my stars. It’s a very emotional thing for any chef. It’s like losing a girlfriend. You want her back,” he said during an appearance on a Norwegian TV show later.

Like the Oscars for films and the Grammys for music, a Michelin star is an important “award” in the world of food. Michelin stars are essentially a symbol of the quality of a restaurant, and every year Michelin-starred restaurants are honored in the Michelin Guide, the world’s premier culinary book and dating back to 1900. Those restaurants that own “the flower-star icon” then have a great reputation, as diners may spend months waiting for their turn to be served at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

The Michelin star structure consists of three levels: one, two and three stars. Once the restaurant is awarded its third star, it is considered to have reached the culinary peak. The chef of the restaurant, of course, also becomes a Michelin-starred chef. Restaurants awarded Michelin stars are recognized as succeeding at the highest level and their chef must be top shelf.

Michelin Guide inspectors visit appointed restaurants every year, posing as ordinary diners. These inspectors are passionate about food, have a great sense of taste, and can compare dishes at many different restaurants. The work of these culinary experts is often a secret, even to their relatives, to ensure objectivity.

Come with The Guide, then, to discover restaurants in Vietnam with Michelin-starred chefs.

HANOI

LA TABLE DU CHEF PRESS CLUB

Two Michelin-starred Chef Alain Dutournier

Cuisine: French

Michelin Stars: Two

SHINING STARS

Alain has found a way to transform pleasant dishes from the southwest of France into haute cuisine. Born in 1949 in the small village of Cagnotte, he was raised in the family’s inn, where he learned cooking from his mother and grandmother from an early age.

After opening two Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris - the one Michelin-starred bistro Au Trou Gascon in 1973 and the two-starred Le Carré des Feuillants in 1986 - Alain travelled to Hanoi. He now personifies the soul of La Table du Chef, where he introduces to gastronomes the highest culinary art of France. He is renowned for his minimalist, original cuisine based on unexpected textures and complexities. Together with his talented Vietnamese Resident Chef Dao Van Son, he enchants lovers of haute cuisine with an exceptional menu featuring a touch of Vietnamese taste, which is as savory as it is aesthetically appealing.

French tartare - chopped raw beef seasoned with a few pungent accouterments - is the perfect summer dish. This didn’t, however, stop Chef Alain and his team from putting their own twist on it. At La Table du Chef you can try not only French beef tartare but its other variations, prepared with salmon, tuna or oysters and flavored with lemon peel and dill.

AKIRA BACK

Michelin-starred chef described as a new “monument” of Asian cuisine

Cuisine: Modern Japanese

Michelin Stars: One

SHINING STARS

Akira Back is a Korean-American born in 1974 and was a baseball player and snowboarder before pursuing gastronomy. He has opened two restaurant chains - Akira Back and Yellowtail - which have outlets in many parts of the world. With more than 24 years in the business, he was awarded one Michelin star for his Dosa restaurant in Seoul at the end of 2017.

There are already ten Akira Back restaurants in famous cities in the US and throughout Asia. The most recent opening was at the five-star JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi. The man himself presents infinite possibilities and boundless creativity in his culinary creations, skillfully welding modern Japanese cuisine with Korean accents and culinary influences from around the world.

Japanese eel and shiso are his favorite ingredients. One of the most impressive dishes at Akira Back restaurants and also the first suggested to diners is the salmon pizza. Guests can also enjoy salmon with lemon sauce and oil, AB tacos (a combination of Korean and Mexican cuisine), and Seabass rolls with Tobiko fish eggs covered with Korean chili sauce.

The Tiger is the symbol of Akira Back restaurants all over the world, as Chef Akira was born in the year of the Tiger. The White Tiger sculpture in Hanoi was created by famous Vietnamese sculptor Dinh Cong Dat.

DANANG

LA MAISON 1888

Cuisine: Innovative French

Michelin Stars: Three

SHINING STARS

La Maison 1888 captures the essence of haute French dining, with a distinct gourmet experience of delectable à la carte menus of distinguished classic French cuisine.

Set within the InterContinental Peninsula Danang Resort, the design of the restaurant recreates an antique French mansion, with each dining area created as an intimate niche reflecting a certain period.

After three successful years working with Michel Roux, La Maison 1888 is now home to world-renowned three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire.

Chef Pierre is a well-known French chef and Head Chef and owner of the eponymous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant at 6 rue Balzac in Paris. He is an iconoclastic chef at the forefront of the fusion cuisine movement. Beginning his career in St. Etienne, where he won three Michelin stars, Chef Pierre tore at the conventions of classic French cooking by introducing jarring juxtapositions of flavors, tastes, textures, and ingredients. Famously known for his skills in reinventing French cuisine, his culinary motto has always been “facing tomorrow but respectful of yesterday” (tourné vers demain mais soucieux d”hier).

He is renowned as a “colorful chef”, in that he always tries to create many vivid colors in the same dish. “Earth, color, red things” are the words Chef Pierre uses to describe the Hermès perfume that inspired one of his signature’s dishes, “Parfums de Terre”. The foie gras soup with lentil gnocchi and balsamic onions is one of the dish’s seven components. Both the foie gras that enriches the broth and the lentil gnocchi are earthy, while the lightly pickled onion wedges add brightness and tang, not to mention a hint of color.

HO CHI MINH CITY

JARDIN DES SENS RESTAURANT

Cuisine: Innovative French

Michelin Stars: Three

SHINING STARS

After ten years in business, the first restaurant of twins Laurent and Jacques Pourcel, Jardin Des Sens, in Montpellier in France was awarded three Michelin stars. This was a shock to the entire food industry in 1998. Since the 1900s, only 26 restaurants in France, along with eight others in Italy and Spain, have received three Michelin stars.

Laurent and Jacques then published a book entitled “Our Recipes from La Compagnie des Comptoirs”, introducing how they combine ingredients derived from the Middle East and Far East to create harmoniously tasting dishes.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Jardin Des Sens is the first and only luxury restaurant run by Michelin-starred chefs. It is located in an old house built during French colonial times and smaller than its Montpellier cousin. In order to create privacy for guests, the restaurant only serves about 38 guests at a time instead of the 80 in Montpellier. The cuisine, however, retains the same philosophy. All cooking methods are “rule-breaking”: a funky combination between hot and cold, an outstanding engagement of sweet and bitter, or cooked with creative freedom. Jardine Des Sens in Ho Chi Minh City marries the best Vietnamese and Mediterranean ingredients.

So, what is its most characteristic dish? “I would choose the ‘King crab with champagne jelly, coco snow, avocado, coriander, and lemon,’ and the ‘Pigeon fillet served on the bone with candied leg, syrup of cacao juice, and glazed pink radish’, because of the way we play with flavors,” said Chef Jacques.

All Comments (0)

Other news

A space of memories

01PM, 04 December

The Rex Hotel Saigon has always been proud of its history. The Rooftop Garden Bar is its most famous feature, listed as one of “1000 places to see before you die” by American travel writer Patricia Schultz.

  • VnEconomy - Nhịp sống kinh tế Việt Nam và thế giới

Vietnam EconomicTimes © 2014. All right reserved

An electronic media of Vietnam Economic Times - Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam.

Other publications of the contents this website as well as their reproductions must be approved in writing by Vietnam Economic Times.

Editor-in-Chief: Professor Dao Nguyen Cat

Licence No 04/GP-PTTH&TTDT on April 23,2014

Head Office: 98 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay District, Hanoi

Tel: (84-24) 375 2050 / Fax: (84-24) 3755 2058

Email: info.theguide@tbkt.vn ; editortheguide@gmail.com