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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dinner with Robuchon at Robuchon

Chef Joël Robuchon was back in Taipei again, and similar to last year, we made a reservation at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon to meet him and to eat some of the new dishes that he was planning. Given it is the season for white truffle, Robuchon devised a few dishes that were topped with thin slices from a sizable piece. Needless to say, dinner with Robuchon at Robuchon was amazing.

The dinner was also fun as the restaurant was fully booked and there was palpable energy emanating from the kitchen crew and the wait staff. Chef Angelo Aglianò was busy manning the pass and being watched over the shoulder by Robuchon and Chef Eric Bouchenoire and Chef Philippe Braun. Since Antoine Hernandez, the chief sommelier of the Robuchon group, didn't come this time, Benoît Monier was quite busy pouring wines for the different diners. For the wait staff, it was all hands on deck as even the staff from the 3rd floor Salon was present.

Throughout the dinner service Robuchon also went around the restaurant and greeted every guest. When he came by our area of the counter, I asked him with my rudimentary French to sign two of his books that I owned: Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joël Robuchon and The Complete Robuchon. He was happy and probably a bit surprised to see the old book that he did with Patricia Wells. I thought he was just going to quickly sign the books and hand them back to me. Instead he took a little time and wrote two different short messages for the two books. After he finished he asked the wait staff to take the books and keep the signed pages open to ensure the ink dried. Robuchon's attention to this little detail for the care of the guest made me realize why he is such a great and successful chef.

Below is one of the two books that he signed:

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