- By BK staff
- | Mar 29, 2011
Ahead of his visit to the Four Seasons Bangkok, we chat with Chef Thierry Vincent, chef at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Caprice, in Hong Kong. Chef Vincent will be serving lunch (B2,100) at dinner (B3,200) from Mar 28-Apr 1 and will be accompanied by the Caprice sommelier, who will be on hand to suggest wine pairings.
How difficult it is to reproduce the quality of the food that earned you three Michelin stars when you are cooking outside of your own kitchen? How close can you hope to get to that level while at the Four Seasons Bangkok?
My aim is to work closely with the experienced team at FS Bangkok and use their knowledge of their regular producers and suppliers, to ensure the products are the best they can find. Having not taken his Caprice three-Michelin status outside of the kitchen in FS Hong Kong, it is going to be a very interesting experience!
What’s the hardest thing about not cooking in your own kitchen?
You have to learn new equipment, layouts, team people (including service staff) and customer habits in a very short space of time.
Back in Hong Kong, do you have to adapt to your environment? Are there ingredients that are difficult to find, even by air freight? Or things that just don’t appeal to the Asian palate? Or is it just like cooking in Paris?
Yes, of course. Cooking French cuisine outside of France and a good distance away from the true local produce requires thought, time and thorough organization. It is a skill that comes with time and practise - an acute sense of the origins of the cuisine, the seasons of the country and then bringing it to a new customer. We are always trying new tastes, flavours and combinations and we adjust these on a seasonal basis according to our guests' likes and dislikes. If an item has been a huge success for a season, we will continue to run it the following season, adjusting the flavours slightly to suit the available produce at the time in France. However having a restaurant whose personality and mission is French cuisine at the heart, adjusting it too greatly to suit a new environment, will stop it being truly authentic.
Are the Michelin stars a lot of pressure. Do you think about it a lot? Does it ever hold you back, or does it, on the contrary, force you to take more risks?
Naturally we are honoured to have this recognition and there is pressure today, with this status, but this is solely down to the expectations our customers have, as a result of the award. We don't feel pressure from each other as a team or the hotel, but just to please our guests and ensure they leave Caprice believing that their expectations were met. So long as I know that we are consistently producing exquisite plates, of excellent quality we will be content.
Your cooking is very seasonal. Do you have a favorite season? If so, why is it your favorite?
I love autumn, game is so interesting and fun to work with. So many variations of flavours and ideas, presenations, etc.
What’s the dish (that you cook) you’re most excited about these days? Tell us about it.
I am a Chef, I love food. I love to eat. I have many favorites!