#ChefsTable: with Thierry Drapeau

Spotlight

February 9, 2018 | BY Shauna Popple Williams

Recently in Manila and his first time in the Philippines, 2 Michelin-starred chef Thierry Drapeau taught a special limited-group engagement French cooking class to aspiring chefs and foodies at the Centre for Culinary Arts (CCA) at its Makati campus.

Capping his two-day stay, Drapeau masterminded a must-experience sit-down dinner for a select 40 diners, which was held at the CCA Grand Kitchen and in partnership with the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE). Ably assisted by French master chef Marc Toutain, who flew in from Hong Kong for the occasion, the two chefs co-created a menu that embraced the best of Filipino produce and to help execute this four-course repast, they involved the CCA students as part of their training. 

Capping his two-day stay, Drapeau masterminded a must-experience sit-down dinner for a select 40 diners, which was held at the CCA Grand Kitchen and in partnership with the Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier (ICDE). Ably assisted by French master chef Marc Toutain, who flew in from Hong Kong for the occasion, the two chefs co-created a menu that embraced the best of Filipino produce and to help execute this four-course repast, they involved the CCA students as part of their training. 

Known for his “cuisine of the soil” inspired dishes, Drapeau hails from the city of Nantes, France, and at the age of 21, he was appointed chef de partie (station chef/ line chef) at a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant, La Bateau Ivre. Eventually, the determined high-achiever opened his very own restaurant, Logis de Chabotterie. A decade later, Chabotterie was awarded with 2 Michelin stars.
 

 

T.Dining: What influenced you to become a part of the culinary world? How did it feel when your restaurant was awarded the two Michelin stars?

Thierry Drapeau: I fell in love with the culinary world as I saw my dad cooking every Sunday morning, and as our family bonded together over shared meals. My first influence was the produce itself, the ability to touch and taste it and then transform it to make it better.Getting my second Michelin star in 2011 was very emotional after a 20-year career in the culinary world, and I very much wanted to share this moment with my former employers and mentors, to tell them thank you.

T.Dining: How long were you chef de partie at La Bateau Ivre and how would you describe the experience? What’s the most important lesson you learnt there?

TD: When I arrived at the Bateau Ivre I was a commis (junior cook). After a year I became Chef de Partie, and after 3 years Second de Cuisine. That allowed me to take on a real sense of responsibility. I learned that one could deliver quality work while remaining humble and respectful. What allowed me to make headway into the culinary world was the success of my mentors.

T.Dining: How would you describe your menu at Logis de Chabotterie? Describe its cuisine and what sets it apart from others?

TD: The menu at the Chaboterie goes along with the seasons, but it is first and foremost floral and herbaceous, with local produce from the soil and the sea nearby. What I believe differentiates it is the quality of the produce, and the fact that I sow respect to the produce.

T.Dining: Please describe your “cuisine de soil” philosophy?

TD: My cooking philosophy is to work on it like a wine, to look for a balance when combining herbaceous and floral notes; to work on the acidity, the bitterness and the sweetness.

 

T.Dining: What is always in your pantry? What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?

TD: I always keep flour and eggs as essential ingredients; along with water, salt and yeast I can use these to make bread. I enjoy working with potatoes, there are some many things you can do with them, from starters to mains and desserts. I also love working with lemons for their acidity.

T.Dining: What would you like to tell people when they are eating your food?

TD: I like communicating to people that my dishes are light, without any excess butter, essentially based on jus. I tell them that good cuisine takes time, for instance with low temperature cooking that allows a concentration of taste and flavours.