Foodies in Asia have been spoilt for choice in recent years, with an influx of global master chefs gracing shores and tantilising guests with masterclasses and dinners. Last week, French chef William Frachot, who earned his Michelin badges in Dijon, spent a week at Macau’s Sofitel Hotel demonstrating the intricacy and precision of French cooking to curious diners. For those who weren’t there, here is an insight into Chef Frachot’s 20-years of French cooking.
AP:Asian Palate FW:William Frachot
AP: What exactly is the secret behind “authentic French cuisine”?
FW:The secret is “respect”. You must respect the ingredient and the cooking process or techniques. I will illustrate with the dinner menu I’ve set for Sofitel this time. To highlight the essence of the White Pearl Oyster N1 with Mushrooms Trumpettes Acidic Apples and Sea Ecume and appetizer Pan Fried Foie Gras Escalope with Hibiscus Syrup & Peppered Apple , you must follow the proper and sophisticated steps of the cooking process religiously.
Every kind of meat or fish or any kinds of ingredient have their best ways of cooking. For the above two dishes, low-temperature cooking is key, as well as not mixing too many ingredients and flavors.
AP: How will French cuisine evolve globally in the future?
FW:I will say French people will change the tradition of having a long meal spanning several hours, into a faster meal. Probably they will only have the traditional French cuisine during weekends when they have more time.
French cuisine and global cuisine is connected; the authentic style will remain but with new added elements…but not fusion! Just like the Sofitel brand, be global but keep the French origin.
Pan Fried Foie Gras Escalope with Hibiscus Syrup & Peppered Apple
AP: We would love to understand how you create “contemporary cuisine” and fuse “French tradition and the encounter of [your] travels”. Can you tell us about your creative process by talking us through a personal favorite recipe?
FW:This process happens when I’ve been traveling and I return with seasoning, sauce or marinades I’ve discovered in trips abroad. I do not have a specific personal favorite recipe, as a chef I love every ingredient, as each food has its unique characteristic. Over the last 20 years I have travelled a lot, from Europe to Asia, either as a guest chef or participant in some grand festival events. This gives me great inspiration for developing different combinations into with food. The most important is I learnt the different cooking style through observation and the culture.
This is the first time I am being invited to Macau. The Macanese food gives me new ideas – I hope to make a menu for my hotel in France to introduce to my guests. In Macau we are using chorizo, many different vegetables as well as fish and sea food. I saw many things in the market I am interested in using.
AP: Any plans to spread your footprint further in Asia?
FW: I would like to go back to Vietnam for its quality products. I anticipate that one day I may open a restaurant in Asia or conduct some consulting work here. Who knows, time will tell!
AP: Other than your own cuisine, which cuisine gives you most inspiration when you cook?
FW: Japanese cuisine would be my second choice because it matches well with French cuisine.
Michelin starred chef William Frachot
About William Frachot
William Frachot, renowned Michelin starred chef from Dijon, France will touch down at Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16 to reveal the secret of authentic French cuisine throughout a six-day gastronomical journey.
With over 20 years experience in authentic French cuisine, William worked with various legendary top chefs in France (Joël Pérault, Jean Crotet, Bernard Loiseau, Jacques Lameloise) that infused him with passion for the profession. William described his cooking as creative contemporary cuisine, crossing borders but highlighting both French tradition and the encounters of his travels. In 2008, William was recognized as “One of The Best Young Chefs” by GaultMillau d’Or, a top culinary magazine in France.
In 1999, he took over L’Hostellerie Du Chapeau Rouge and it is awarded as a Michelin starred restaurant in Dijon, France in 2003.
© Photos from Sofitel Hotel Macau/ William Frachot