Joël Robuchon is — without question — one of the best chefs on the planet.
He has also mentored top chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Eric Ripert, in addition to his various protégées at the helm of his global locations.
That’s why foodies across New York City exclaimed in delight when it was announced Robuchon would be bringing his world-renowned L’Atelier restaurant back to NYC.
And while many believe that his fantastic food is the most memorable meal of their lives, I sat down with Robuchon earlier in 2014 at his Las Vegas restaurant location to ask him about his most memorable meal.
“It’s always difficult to answer such a question because the best meal I ever had depends,” Robuchon told me in French at his eponymous restaurant at the Las Vegas MGM Mansion. “As an example about 15 years ago, I had lunch on the mountain with another great chef, Guy Savoy. And at 10 AM in the morning, we’re eating on top of this mountain with a bottle of Château d’Yquem 1987.
“We were with friends, and people that we enjoy, with great cheese. And that certainly is marked as one of the great moments of my life. It may seem strange that one of my best memories is cheese and a bottle of wine, but it’s built by the company that one chooses.”
But that was not his only favourite dining experience. In addition to friends and company, Robuchon described what must be one of the most unique and delicious dishes any of us have ever fathomed:
“I was in Tours, and I was with a chef who was the first really to cook his own bread and to have ovens specifically designed for bread,” Robuchon explained. “And in the center of this bread, he had actually cooked a chicken, and the chicken itself was infused with the flavour of the bread. You could eat the bread and taste the chicken. And yet the chicken itself tasted almost like cake. It had a golden crustiness to it.
“Anybody can do a roasted chicken, but to do a roasted chicken such as this within the bread — it had taken all the humidity out of the bread and it was so tender. And the skin itself looked like the crust of the bread. Those are the big moments, those are things I will remember.”
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