Alan Passar — one of the most outstanding cooks of our time. Born in 1956, in the city of La Gersch, in the province of Brittany, in France.
In the 86th opened the famous restaurant L`Aprege, in Paris on Rue Varennes.
In 1996, he received the third Michelin star.
In 2001, he created a sensation in the highest gastronomic society, removing meat from the menu of his restaurant and making it almost entirely from vegetarian dishes.
In 2008, Passar broke up the third garden to supply the restaurant with fresh vegetables and fruits.
Today, its land is 7 hectares of land and brings up to 50 tons of organic products annually.
Passar does not work for fame or money — and he and the other he achieved a long time ago. He, as a child, became interested in the idea of reunion with nature, the idea of saving every millimeter of the valuable «material» she had given. Its main postulates are: “Listen to nature.
Observe seasonality. Permeate the harmony that surrounds us. ”
Only in this way, according to Passar, one can become an absolutely happy person.
It looks like he does.
Where and from whom did you learn to cook?
A.P. It so happened that everyone in my family loved to work with their hands.
My mother sewed beautifully, my father was a musician, my grandfather was a sculptor, and my grandmother perfectly cooked.
She gave me the first lessons of culinary skill. I did quite well, and at the age of 14 I got into a restaurant as an assistant chef.
I have always loved to observe and often saw what others did not notice — and the ability to see, perhaps, is one of the most important in our profession.
The first impression of the dish is always formed visually, and only then the taste buds are included. This should always be remembered. I did not study in any special institutions.
But I was lucky to work in wonderful restaurants, among wonderful people, among whom were Gaston Boyer in Reims and Alain Senderens in Paris.
What are three things, without which your kitchen is not possible in principle?
A.P. Good question!
Of course, these are feelings and emotions, without which no decent dish will be born. Be sure to have patience.
My patience! Because any good result takes time. And we must be able to wait, overcoming difficulties if they arise.
Well, my organization, a serious attitude.
All this is combined in my work.
Actually, this is called my work.
Will you make dinner for your child in your restaurant?
If so, what dishes will you cook?
A.P. Why not?
Children are the most subtle and honest critics. If they like, they will eat anything, but if not, they will not be compelled by any persuasion.
The main thing is that in December tomatoes should not get into the dish. Their season in France is from July to September.
And they should be eaten only during this period.
And you can cook anything for your child.
For example, all kinds of mashed potatoes from different vegetables and fruits. Of course, from seasonal vegetables and fruits. And of course, very bright.
Or a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers with drops of olive oil. You can stew from different vegetables.
Moreover, the composition of these dishes can always be varied.
If you imagine the path from the simplest, home-made cuisine to modern one in the form of a segment and divide it into 10 parts, then where on this segment do you see yourself?
A.P. Absolutely everywhere.
I myself am engaged in the garden, which he himself created.
I myself stand at the stove and cook, because I love my job.
I myself choose the wines that I offer to my dishes, and in the evening I go out to greet the guests in the hall. But I’m not mired in a routine. I travel a lot, spend all sorts of events around the world, looking for new tastes, perfecting my kitchen.
In the morning I’re picking a tomato from a bush — which is much simpler! — and in the afternoon I cook a dish from it, rather complicated, yes. I have time everywhere. From the first to the last moment.
And this is my life.
Give advice to tourists who come to your city — what should they definitely try, and what, in your opinion, is the main taste of your country?
And what they should not try at all?
Name three things.
A.P. In France, in Paris, I do not see any special, some major taste. Products must be delicious, then the dish will be delicious.
Carrots, celery, beets or something else … the main thing is that the product corresponds to the season in which you went to travel. There are winter vegetables in summer and summer in winter means to go against nature. Here I would not advise doing this.
Everything has its time. The only thing I would definitely recommend to try is the stew from the L’Aprege menu called “Harlequin”.
This dish is the nail of every season.
It is prepared exclusively from those vegetables and fruits that had time to ripen in my garden by the morning of this day.
Its name does not change, but the contents of the plate never repeats.
What do you associate your work with?
With complete and absolute harmony.
How important is publicity to a cook?
What is the role of TV and other media, as well as the role of the Internet.
A.P. Perhaps publicity is important.
But it should not become an end in itself.
The point is quite different.
The main thing is to enjoy simple things, and still give joy to people.