April 20, 2021
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Less Is More When It Comes To Cooking: Executive Chef Olivier Chardigny

Chef Olivier Chardigny from the acclaimed Georges Blanc restaurant who was in India recently believes that food presentation is all about balancing variety and contrast.

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Less Is More When It Comes To Cooking: Executive Chef Olivier Chardigny
Less Is More When It Comes To Cooking: Executive Chef Olivier Chardigny

Chef Olivier Chardigny was in the Oberoi, Mumbai. Chef Olivier is from the acclaimed Georges Blanc restaurant was awarded the third star by the Michelin Guide in 1981 and also the recipient of four torques by the Gault Et Millau restaurant guide.
The restaurant got its first star in 1929 by Georges Blanc grandmother and the second in 1931. Georges Blanc got its third in 1981. The restaurant is one of the oldest Michelin Star restaurants in the world and more importantly has retained all its stars. Chef Georges Blanc has been recognized as the ambassador of French Gastronomy, to the world.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

How important are flavours in a dish?
The cuisine of Blanc’s Family is based on quality and local products and a focus on balancing of flavours that makes delicious food. Vonnas village is located in Bresse region where cream, butter but most of all Bresse chicken take a big part. Georges Blanc’s grandmother was world famous in this age thanks to a simple dish “the Bresse chicken with a creamy sauce. Another famous dish in Georges Blanc’s cuisine is “the lobster with yellow wine”. Yellow wine is a special kind of wine exclusively made in Jura, a French region next to Vonnas. At Georges Blanc our menus reflect the legacy of the restaurant and hence we continuously work towards making our guests feel special and have an unforgettable experience. Each dish, each meal period, every day with every guest is an opportunity for us to personalise and delight the guest with the Georges Blanc experience. We are committed to personalizing each interaction with our guests and spend time explaining the menu and the finer nuances of the ingredients, method of preparation and the cuisine philosophy with it.

What is your take on the art of plating?
Our style of cooking is ‘less is more’ which allows each ingredient to be the star and ensures that the flavours are intact and still recognizable. The same was adopted in all the special tasting menus on showcase at Vetro at The Oberoi, Mumbai. This translates into simple yet striking plating techniques that brings to fore the freshness, textures, colours and cooking methods adopted in the recipes.

Another important facet of food presentation is balancing variety and contrast. It is good to have a variety of textures on the plate, but how these textures are combined is just as important. That is a crucial question when it comes to food presentation. You eat with your eyes first and hence having a beautiful plate that represents the cuisine philosophy is important.

What is the reigning food trend?
I believe the new food trends of 2019, will be a growing interest in vegetarian food menus and natural, organically produced ingredients. Seasonal, fresh menus with the highlight on simple cooking will be the key.

What is your idea of an ideal dessert?

My choice of flavours for desserts is classic, but still rediscovering ingredients that in my French culture had an almost unidirectional use. Some of the special desserts are Meringue glacée aux fruits rouges - Frozen meringue with red berries and Le Sablé Chocolat grand cru, sauce Café-Noisettes torréfiées - Chocolate sablé, hazelnut-coffee sauce.

What is you take on Indian cuisine?
India cuisine is an art because of its diversity, its simplicity, through its colours, its tastes, and its originality. Seasonal vegetables curry is my favourite. My favourites being a simple lentil curry with delicious Indian breads. I haven’t had a chance to try all the street food that is on offer but I understand that Mumbai as a city has one of the most vibrant street food cultures. In my opinion street food is the heart of India. All those rustic flavours are “India on a plate’ for me.

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