One-on-One with Chef Guil­laume Gaulliot

Upscale Living Magazine - - Contents - | By Rahim B. Kanani

“When you find the right bal­ance on the plate, and when you have noth­ing else to say, that is per­fec­tion,” ex­plained two-star Miche­lin Chef Guil­laume Gal­liot of Caprice, housed in the Four Sea­sons Hong Kong. In a brief in­ter­view, we dis­cussed his ap­proach to food, life­long learn­ing, in­spi­ra­tion and more. At what point in your culi­nary ca­reer did you re­al­ize that you truly ex­celled as a chef?

I have only been in the busi­ness since I was 21 years old, so I still have time to dis­cover and get bet­ter. As a chef, it’s all about tast­ing, dis­cov­er­ing, and hav­ing an open mind. I guess it’s like wine. I will get bet­ter with age as long as there is pas­sion in the mind.

How would you de­scribe your phi­los­o­phy or ap­proach to food?

Clas­sic tech­nique with some mod­ern ap­proaches. Also, the prod­ucts I can get from all over the world are un­lim­ited. There are so many things that I dis­cover on each of my trav­els that give me a lot of in­spi­ra­tion.

Where else do you draw your in­spi­ra­tion from to con­stantly cre­ate?

I get in­spi­ra­tion from dis­cus­sions with my sous chef or even dur­ing a meal with a chef friend. Go­ing to the mar­ket with my fam­ily in France is also a big source of in­spi­ra­tion.

Walk me through the process of when you have a new idea or an in­spi­ra­tion for a new menu item. How do you go about tak­ing that idea from your mind to the plate?

I usu­ally try to first think about the base of the prod­uct: where it comes from, if there is a story be­hind it. Is it veg­etable or pro­tein. Spices too, all have to make sense. Like the Pi­geon Co­coa that we are do­ing now. What is the base of the co­coa? The co­coa bean. So then I was sure for me that the as­so­ci­a­tion works. That’s why the pi­geon ends up be­ing cooked in the Co­coa pod.

As a two-star Miche­lin chef, what strate­gies do you em­ploy to main­tain such a high bar of con­sis­tency, ex­cel­lence and pre­ci­sion?

It’s an ev­ery day work. Build the right team like in soc­cer. Put the right player at the right place and ev­ery day we have a match to play. And of course, we all want to win the match by serv­ing all the right in­gre­di­ents by mak­ing them shine. We put our ser­vice and pas­sion into all prod­ucts to make sure the guest can feel it and taste it.

Is there such a thing as the per­fect dish?

There is. That’s why peo­ple reach three Miche­lin stars. When you find the right bal­ance on the plate, and when you have noth­ing else to say, that is per­fec­tion.

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