Interviewed July 2009
Michel Troisgros is chef/patron of Troisgros, a 3 star Michelin restaurant in France with a great history. Troisgros was founded in 1930, and three generations of the same family have cooked at the restaurant. It has held three Michelin stars since 1968.
Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?
Since 1977, or 32 years
Q – Where did you train to cook?
After formal training at the Lycée Technique Hôtelier in Grenoble, I worked at the following: Moulin de Mougins - Roger Vergé, restaurant Alain Chapel à Mionnay, Fredy Girardet at Crissier in Switzerland, Taillevent in Paris, Comme Chez Soi in Brussels, The Connaught in London, Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michel Guérard at Eugénie-les-Bains and New York.
Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?
It's a grande cuisine of products and ingredients. Acidity, in all its forms, is present and brings discreetly and by the moment both light and lightness to the flavours. My cooking is sophisticated but appears quite simple. A dish never comprises more than 5 or 6 elements.
Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
The success of a restaurant depends on many things. You must be sincere in all points of view. Don't copy others. Don't be influenced by fashion. Stay true to your own thoughts. The secret is to hold on, stay the course, and to impart your knowledge and passion.
Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because my repertoire is constantly evolving. I tire fairly quickly of what I've created. At the moment, I like making potato "mezzaluna" filled with Parmesan and truffle.
Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?
Yes, the tomato.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
The Colline du Colombier at Iguerande. It's a countryside auberge that I've created with Marie-Pierre, my wife
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
That would be in a Tokyo sushi bar which I shan't name. In Japan it is customary not to divulge the best addresses for sushi.
What would be your “last request” dish?
plate of gnocchi à la tomate just like my grandmother made when I was a kid.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
I admire at least 3 chefs, namely: Michel Guérard, Michel Bras and Olivier Roellinger.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Be courageous, be curious, travel the world to make discoveries and meet people elsewhere. Listen, read and never tire of tasting food.
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?