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Guy Savoy
 
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Guy Savoy

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18, Rue Troyon75017 Paris
France
T+33 143804061

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MTWTFSS
Lunch              
Dinner              

Chef's personal info

Name: Guy Savoy
Date of birth: 24-07-1953
Origin: France
Awards:
3 Michelin Stars - Michelin4 Stars - Bottin GourmandAAA "5-Diamond Award" - "Officier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur" - The President of France
 
Books:
Vegetable Magic with Guy LangloisFrench Edbury Press
Guy Savoy: Simple French Recipes for the Home CookEnglish Stewart, Tabori and Chang
 

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wishihadafoodpun.wordpress.com
Guy Savoy, France

Guy Savoy, France

We arrived at Guy Savoy’s eponymous restaurant in Paris, dressed in the most formal wear we had brought on the trip. They say that there is a new wave of French cuisine taking place in Paris, one that goes against the idea, the concept of Michelin stars and fine dining; the rise of the brasseries, the bistros, and the possible decline of the fine dining restaurants. If anything, Guy Savoy is part of the old guard that finds himself being attacked by this new wave of French Cuisine. Being the youngest chef in a group of reknowned chefs who pioneered “Nouvelle Cuisine” in France, where there was a shift away from the rich, heavy sauces, thickened with copious amounts of butter, towards a more balanced, delicate approach to a menu, it would be interesting to see how he reacted with his food. We were expecting to have the lunch menu at Guy Savoy, what we did not realize was that the lunch menu was only available to those who made reservations online. Once we were seated, the set menu(without the lunch) and a la carte menu was presented to us. I was starting to get a little worried because they had already served us an amuse bouche before the menu had even arrived, and it seemed impolite to walk into the restaurant, gobble up an amuse, and decide we didnt want to have the set menu. Plus we had already told them we were from singapore, and he had my name through the reservation, what if he hunted me down on facebook and publically shamed me for dining and dashing?

When I enquired about it, the maitre d was quick to explain to us the system of their menus, and asked if we had made online reservations. I honestly did not know, and a trip planner had made our reservation for us, which meant everyone had an ‘umm…. (looks around nervously)’ look on our face, the maitre’d quickly caught on to this, because he quickly explained that he was willing to make an exception for us, but not without giving us a mini lecture on how lucky we were(Very very uncomfortable at this point)

Toast with foie gras and truffle

Quite the epitome of luxury. The toast was thinly sliced and lightly toasted, leaving a nice nutty flavor that complemented the truffle, which in turn complemented the very very creamy foie gras. My description of the foie isn’t doing it much justice, because it was soft to the point where it was almost like a butter. A nice statement of intent by the restaurant. Good

 

 Pumpkin soup and crab tartlet (No Pic)

Another smart little amuse, the pumpkin was light but rich in flavor. Crab tartlet had some acidity to cut the richness of the soup but the tartlet itself wasn’t very good. Okay

At this point we were approached with a tray of about 8 different kinds of bread, along with recommendations for bread pairing with our respective appetizers. I’ve never had a bread pairing before, but it seems like quite a good idea, why don’t more restaurants do this?

 

Ice poached oysters & 2 new preparations (served w seaweed bread) 

The cold trio of oysters was plump and sweet, and it was encapsulated in sea water gelee(I personally believe fresh oysters should be eaten w it’s natural seawater and nothing else). The salt level of the gelee was toned down quite a bit to let the natural sweetness of the oyster shine. The acidity in the dish came from the salad, which drew its link to the trio of oysters when it was finished with an oyster vinagette. When both the salad and trio of oysters were finished, a single warm poached oyster was served, it had spherical crispy pops(not sure what they were) that added an interesting contrast to the oyster. The warm oyster had a much more meaty texture to it, and sitting below the oyster was an egg custard that I can only describe as being very close in texture to chawanmushi. Overall there was a lot going on in this one appetizer, possibly even too much, I enjoyed the oysters but the salad was quite pedestrian. Okay

 

 

Artichoke and black truffles soup served with buttered brioche (Served w traditional baguette)

One of Guy Savoys signature dishes, incidentally, artichokes are also his favourite ingredient, and it’s not difficult to see why. An artichoke soup with shaved black truffle and Parmigian cheese; I hate artichokes with a passion, but the sweetness of the artichokes and truffles came together to form a really warm, creamy, very earthy, almost rustic(with a tad bit of extravagance, just a tad) soup. It tastes and feels like a very rich soup in your mouth, but there is enough balance that you don’t get bloated from consuming a large bowl of this. The mushroom brioche was soft and buttery, reminds me a lot of my bread experience in Per Se, and to take things over the top, it is cut in half and buttered some more. As he was buttering the brioche, the maitre d commented, “do you know why we butter the brioche? Because butter makes everything better.” I have to say I agree. Very good

 

 

Line-caught whiting w salmon eggs, Dublin bay prawn tartar with lemon jelly (5 bran)

I’m sure this dish was a little lost on me, but I did not like it at all. It was very very intensely fishy, I’m not sure if this was the intention of the dish, but the tartar and lemon jelly were completely overpowered and unable to hold up to the taste of the whiting, and it left your mouth with a very unpleasant lingering fishiness. You can basically make this dish at home by poaching a piece of fish in Thai fish sauce (Sorry Guy Savoy :p, but I’m only kidding, not that you’re ever going to read this). Very bad

 

 

Salmon ‘frozen’ on ice, scalding hot consommé, lemon pearls

I choose this dish because it sounded the most interesting of the lot. And I was 90% sure that lemon pearls were spherification, which was a little surprising because spherification has seemed to lost it’s appeal among many restaurants. But I was completely wrong about the pearls. Anyway, back to the fish. It’s basically a salmon that has been ‘cooked’ on a piece of dry ice, during which you actually get to see the flesh of the salmon begin to turn whitish-pink, like how it would if you cooked it normally over heat. It’s served on a very hot plate with very hot vegetable bouillon, chervil agar agar, and the lemon pearls are actually from a tiny fruit with pulp that has the size of caviar, and a taste of a grapefruit but also very tart, almost as acidic as a lime. The ‘pulp’ had a membrane that had a bite to it, very similar to that of a pomegranate. I’m beginning to make this sound like some sort of genetically modified mutant fruit, but it really was quite interesting and pleasant, it was mixed with lemon pulp to reinforce the lemon portion of the dish. It felt a little gimmicky but the wide contrast in temperatures made the dish quite enjoyable, although when the entire dish came to an equilibrium temperature, the dish quickly lost its pizzazz. I really didn’t care fo the chervil agar, I dislike the consistency of agar in savory dishes, but everything eaten together really had a nice balance to it. It was actually the lemon pearls that really brought the fish to life and the whole dish together. Good

  

  

Steam baked Bresse chicken breast, lemongrass, ribb vegetables, Swiss chard glazed with poultry jus

It’s time for another installment of ‘Best things I ever ate’, and this was the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. Another of Savoy’s signature dishes, I’m a little happy that this wasn’t done sous vide, because if it was, my circulator would be turned on all day and I would be responsible for a lot of dead birds. The chicken was placed in a pouch and left in the oven to steam, it had the moisture similar to that of a sous vide chicken; I find that sous vide chicken tends to mash the fibers of the meat together quite a little, this had none of those issues, the meat was more ‘defined’ and firm, but maintained all of its wonderful tenderness. The lemongrass actually complimented the chicken very well, without overpowering its delicate flavours. Very good

 

 

‘Foie gras and radish’, just fried turnips and ‘roasted caramelized duck’

I didn’t have enough of this to make a fair assessment, but for all your drooling pleasure

 

 

‘multicolour’ 

A dessert whose primary ingredient was figs. Again, didn’t have enough of it to make a fair assessment, and there was a lot going on in the dish

 

 

Mille feuille pastry w vanilla pod made to order

Shouldn’t everything in Guy Savoy be a la minut? Regardless, the pastry in this was texturally so flaky and soft, it was like eating air, the vanilla cream wasn’t overly sweet and had a very strong vanilla taste. Okay

 

All black (Noir)

A very dense chocolate cake sitting below one of the darkest and most bitter chocolate ice creams I’ve had. It was refreshing to be able to taste bitterness in a chocolate ice cream, not the most complex dessert, but simple and very satisfying. Okay

 

 

Grapefruit terrine w tea sauce

Another of Savoy’s signature dishes. The tea sauce was beautiful, the level of sweetness was just about enough to bring out the aromas of the Earl grey tea, it also balanced the tartness of the grapefruit terrine. The vanilla wafers gave welcome crunch to the dish, and it was only then that you got the vanilla aromas, which didn’t overpower the taste and smell of the Earl Grey at all. I would have never thought that Earl grey and grapefruit works so well together, it’s hard to describe to describe how good this tastes, because it’s hard to imagine the two flavors combining. So just trust my word in this, it was delicious. Very good

 

Vanilla mousse. Didn’t particularly enjoy the texture. Bad

Raspberry, avocado puree was a little lost in the raspberry. Okay

Chestnut- intense chestnut mousse, crisp meringue played off the mousse beautifully. Good

 

 

Earl grey sorbet w custard sauce. Black pepper

Perfect end to the meal, the sorbet was the best sorbet I’ve had. I’m not even that crazy about tea, but this had the perfect amount of tartness that we really needed at this point of the meal. The custard added a creamyness back into the sorbet, but not in the context of a deconstructed ice cream, black pepper was pretty mild and provided very faint residual heat. Intensely refreshing, and the sorbet perfumed all your senses with the smell of Earl Grey, even after the sorbet was long gone. V good

 

Chocolate, hazelnut, raisin

Choc muffin w raisin

What had started out a slightly awkward lunch turned out to be a delightful experience. The food at Guy Savoy is excellent, but I am fairly certain that most 3 star restaurants in France would serve excellent food as well. It was the service that surprised me the most. The maitre’d was very chatty, charming, funny, witty, challenging but never to the point of coming off as rude. You could tell that he knew what he was doing, and he did his job brilliantly, it really goes to show how much front of house staff really adds to the experience of the meal. Im not entirely sure if  it is a conscious effort by the 3 star restaurants to want to shake off the image of being pompous and arrogant , by hiring friendlier and more engaging waiters and waitresses, but if it is, its a step in the right direction

- wishihadafoodpun.wordpress.com

EntreChefs.co.uk - Laurent Feneau
Savoy royal !

Savoy royal !

Guy Savoy

With elegance and restraint but always with passion, Guy Savoy has taken cuisine to the heights of perfection. Portrait of a great man who is devoted, body and soul, to his art.

8.45 a.m. Today, as every other morning, Guy Savoy gathers together his four chefs whom he affectionately calls his "lieutenants, that is to say, the ones who make the business work". Michel Monciere, Laurent Soliveres and Jean-Baptiste Pilou have worked for him for about fifteen years while Damien Le Bihan, the youngest chef de cuisine on the team, joined them three years ago. Together, they will take stock of the previous evening's dinner, prepare the next lunch but, above all, check deliveries. The previous evening, Michel had met up with a few small Breton fishermen - the restaurant's usual suppliers - to find out what was the best that day's catch. "We have just taken some superb sea urchins and some beautiful scallops", Guy Savoy right-hand man rejoices. As far as vegetables are concerned, another member of the team goes to Rungis twice a week to "winkle out" seasonal produce to tempt guests. These items could be wonderful ceps with their firm caps, chanterelles that are as small as a trouser button or, like today, truffles with their heady scent. "This has been an exceptional year for truffles", states Michel, a devotee of fine produce.

Head and legs …
The rue Troyon where the restaurant that bears the same name as Guy Savoy can be found, looks like a little village where the countryside clearly bears the mark of the chef's hand. Although the establishment is remarkably discreet, in fact, it has a number of "annexes" all down the street. Opposite the restaurant, at number 13, there is a private dining room for guests who like to take their time over a cigar, a drink or just wait for friends in a pleasant environment before moving to their table. Alongside, two steward's offices take in stocks of goods and there is a little cellar that houses mineral water and other non-alcoholic drinks. The other cellar is hidden away and closely guarded … Finally, a little further up the road, a very discreet single floor apartment is used as a gym by Guy Savoy. A little "sanctuary" for the boss's legs in a way …
The chef's head, on the other hand, presides over the 5th floor of the building that houses the restaurant. Here, the "Guy Savoy Plus" company employs six people who are responsible for managing communications and accounts for the establishment in the rue Troyon and for the four other Paris restaurants. It is now 9.30 a.m., the "numbers and letters" time for our man. He goes through the mail with "Claudine who uses nice words" and the accounts with Nadine, "the big Boss of figures", jokes the chef. And then he adds: "The pleasure you get from cooking can't be found in any statement or balance sheet. A pity, isn't it? "

Kung-fu and 'haute gastronomie'
It's already 10 a.m. … A meeting has been arranged with Damien Le Bihan, the young chef de cuisine, and Bernard Viot who has been with Guy Savoy since the beginning and who has already set up a dozen kitchens for him. Purpose of the meeting: to look at plans for the kitchen in a future restaurant abroad which will be managed by Damien Le Bihan. 12 000 square metres in a magnificent 18th century mansion but some areas are untouchable! It is a listed building … The restaurant will revisit the classical dishes of French gastronomy as well as those of the local cuisine. The budget for this operation: two million euros. "Be warned. You need to be good, Damien! ", the chef warns him ironically.
11 a.m. and this is one of the rare moments of freedom in the very long day of the company manager that is Guy Savoy. For sixty minutes, immediately before entering into the kitchen, he will devote himself to his favourite sport: kung-fu. Accordingly, he meets up with his trainer in the little gym in the rue Troyon where he collects, among other things, the Guides Michelin published since 1900… To him, "a star means the same thing as an Olympic medal to a sportsman". Guy Savoy is one of the French chefs who play the Michelin game. A game that he plays happily and intelligently: "The stars are necessary but not enough on their own and they are important as long as we keep our feet on the ground". And that is precisely what this chef has done for 7 years, the time taken to win his third star. Because Guy Savoy is first and foremost a wise and patient man. "Cooking with two stars is just as pleasurable as cooking with three", he explains philosophically before adding in order to justify those 17 long years of waiting, "I must be a long-distance runner …".
11.30 a.m. While Guy Savoy is practicing his martial arts, the 'front of house' team, headed by Eric Lancio, maître d'hôtel and wine waiter, meet for a "briefing" on the day's bookings. This is also a very sporting interlude but involves mental gymnastics. Each table and its bookings are examined under the microscope. Eric provides information on the clients, most of whom are regular customers. Profession, habits, the culinary tastes and preferences of each guest are recorded in minute detail by all the members of the team - a score of them! - who will officiate in the restaurant at lunchtime. Finally, menus, dishes and produce of the day are read out and explained in detail by chef Laurent Soliveres.

Cooking or the art of the "right moment"
12 p.m. and Guy Savoy is back. The sportsman dons his chef's hat. He goes into the kitchen. His face changes. His features are tense, his look sharp and he speaks sparingly. His concentration is extreme, each action and each gesture absolutely precise. "Each chef de cuisine is an inspection station and all the dishes that leave the kitchen are laboured over, tasted, looked at and checked over by each of us", explains the master of the premises before adding: "I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't started by cooking omelettes and trout meunière in my mother's restaurant when I was 14 years old; there is no secret. It's all down to work and organization and here, chefs, senior sous-chefs and commis chefs make it possible for me to be 100% efficient".
The chef will only emerge from his kitchen when service is 2/3rd the way through, that is to say at about 2.30 p.m. That is when Guy Savoy goes out to say hello to his regulars and to accompany the few rare clients in a hurry to the door. The main purpose of this interlude is to gauge the temperature in the restaurant and, it has to be said, it is rarely unsatisfactory. " Being a chef, even a great chef, means nothing more than arousing the interest of the guests; a chef is above all an inn keeper who looks after his clients' wellbeing", he explains. Then it's back to the kitchen where the wizard of the rue Troyon will carry on working until 3.30 or even 4 p.m. Purpose: carrying on until the end of the service but mainly putting things in place in readiness for dinner because cooking is also the art of being prepared. At the stove, Guy Savoy often mentions the "right moment" in order to define "that brief instant where everything is ready and when the plate can no longer wait; it's this instantaneous, magical, risky aspect that will, from a culinary viewpoint, create the right sensation".
After a walk, a nap and a little shopping, the chef resumes his service at about 6.30 p.m. Another meeting with his "lieutenants" to finalise the evening's menu as well as another "briefing" in the restaurant. The working methods used for preparing lunch also apply as stringently for the evening meal. Which would tend to prove, if this were necessary, that he's got the recipe right … Guy Savoy will not leave his little rue Troyon village before 1 in the morning and certainly not before the very last client has gone.
Anyway, a very full day and a timetable that often looks like that of a businessman, " but as soon as he goes through the kitchen door, he has a smile on his face for his guests, a miracle that takes place every day, even twice a day … ", concludes the starry-eyed chef.

Chinese portraits
"If you were … "
- A quality: loyalty
- An animal: a lion
- A country: France.
- A piece of music: a Rolling Stones song
- A film: "Les Tontons flingueurs" by Audiard
- A book: " Le petit prince " by Saint-Exupéry
- A famous woman: Marie Curie
- A dish: a cheese fondue
- A wine: a bottle of Château d'Yquem

EntreChefs.co.uk - Laurent Feneau

 

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