I was starting to wonder which “New Kid” on the block hadn’t passed through Alain Passard’s kitchen? So I had to go and have lunch at Arpège. Passard dropped red meat from his menu in 2001 – one of the reasons being mad cow decease (BSE). I also suspect he wanted a new challenge. He now has three gardens that supply his restaurant with all of its vegetables. The vegetables are grown completely organically and even the use of machines is forbidden. The only help the gardeners receive is the use of a draught horse to help till the soil. Even vegetable waste from the restaurant goes back to the gardens – I like that!
Friday April 13th 2012 was a beautiful spring day in Paris. We walked past the Musée Rodin’s entrance and soon after entered a small, light filled room, already bustling with activity and were shown to our corner table. We chose the L’éveil des Jardins menu (The awakening of the Gardens) & were asked if we would like a course of fish or pork to be served with it. So I took the pork & Karin the fish. Passard is far from being a vegetarian as people sometimes make the mistake of thinking.
Giovanni, an Italian who amazingly had served us once in a restaurant in Rome in 2009 (what were the chances?!) took our wine order which was an Organic Jasniers “Les Rosiers” 09 Bellivière. Finally I could start to see a pattern emerging with organic wine on wine lists in French restaurants, but you have to ask what is Organic or even Biodynamic.
Lunch was good and there was a lot of “theater” – Alain Passard who has three Michelin stars, five hats in the Gault & Millau and is currently number 19 in the Top 100 has passed his passion for ingredients and cooking on to his disciples “the new kids on the block” & we must thank him for this. I would love to meet him one day and take a walk with him through one of his gardens. (Click on a thumbnail to start slideshow)