Masterchef S01 ep13: Thomas Byrne, Byrne Restaurant, [Geneve]

Interview with Thomas Byrne

When you are young, you have so much ambition, you have so much curiosity, and a lot of creativity and then when you get to working 30 years in the same profession you have very solid values. For example, your taste, the way in which you smell things. Your sight, the way in which you see food cooking. You know exactly whether it is cooked. You can hear the cooking. You assemble ingredients in your head. You only have to see a naked flame and place a pan with a piece of fish and you know. You don't have that in your youth.

 

03.53
KM – What is Auberge du Lion Dor?

03.55
It is an internationally known restaurant but it is also a restaurant, which is very
renowned for its good cooking but also for its position and locality and the lake.

04.10
There have always been great chefs in the past here, one of the most famous
was Jacque Lacomb and he was somebody again in the same type of
reputation of people like Paul Boucuse or Freddie Girardet. He was an
enormous man of great generosity and great culinary talents and he really
moved things. And the house went from better to better over all those years.
Then unfortunately he had a car accident and he died and one of his disciples
took it over, Henri Large and he ran the place for nearly 20 years very, very
successfully. He decided to retire and we bought the restaurant

04.51
I was the executive chef at the Hotel Continental and Gill was the executive
chef at Hotel De Rhone. We were very well known here in Geneva and we
decided to put our forces together.

05.07
I always dreamt to be either a musician or a cook. Unfortunately I did not have
enough talent to become a singer, I had a very nice Irish tenor voice but it was
limited I couldn't become Pavarotti or Placido Domingo and I was intelligent
enough to know.

05.30
I started off in a small auberge called the Dolphin in Dublin and I worked one
year in Dublin and from there I went to London. What was fascinating for me, I
remember my first day in the kitchen was to see all these people, and the
white hats, to hear the sound of the pots, to see all the ingredients arrive in the
kitchen.

05.46
KM – But when did you realise that cooking was more than just basically
cooking?

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

05.49
When anybody does any training, whether you wanted to be a tailor, a
gardener a doctor, after a certain amount of years of study, it is even like
religion or like sex, when you realise you enjoy it and you have no… so
cooking is the same. I realised probably after ten years of apprenticeship, I
realised, "I am a chef, I am a cook".

06.17
KM – What are the telltale signs of a young person in the kitchen that you
know that they are going to be a great cook.

06.23
One of the great in any kitchen, when you see people who are spontaneous,
who are curious, that are happy and they want to give more and more of
themselves. They don't count the hours, and they don't count the pay and they
are dedicated.

 

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

06.46
When you are young, you have so much ambition, you have so much curiosity,
and a lot of creativity and then when you get to working 30 years in the same
profession you have these very solid values. For example, your tastes, the
way you smell things, your sight, the way in which you see food cooking. You
know exactly whether it is cooked. You can hear the…you mix up the
ingredients in your head. You only have to see a naked flame and place a pan
and place a piece of fish and you hear it cooking and you know. You don't
have that in your youth, and maybe as you get older and in my case I am not
too old yet, I seem to want to go back to more traditional type of values.

07.33
We receive here, the postman, the gardener, the local village people, there are
Kings, there are Queens, there are Ambassador's coming, you can be very
influenced by them all. Wealthy bankers, multi millionaires and international
people, they are always your clients and you can never become too friendly
with them, you have to always remember your position.

 


Jewellery Theatre Elements

08.06
We are exploring all the time. One of the great qualities of a chef is every day
when the ingredients arrive, you can always decide what you want to do with it
and there is always something very spontaneous, in winter in autumn in
summer. For example we had fresh scallops just arrived from Scotland this
morning.

08.36
In the food world we have made a lot of progress to keep a certain amount of
things fresh you can use vacuum packing. But re cooking and vacuum
packing, you cannot hear it, you cannot see it, you cannot feel it. All goes on
you open this plastic bag and you see what is it there.

08.53
KM – So it is the ultimate in preparation but not the ultimate in cooking.

08.54
Yes, it can be very, very, very efficient for certain canteens but when you go to
a restaurant like this you don't want to eat from plastic. You put it into the pan,
you cook it, you smell it, you feel it, and you see it. You decorate it and you
serve it. It is a symphony of all things together.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

08.53
KM – So it is the ultimate in preparation but not the ultimate in cooking.

08.54
Yes, it can be very, very, very efficient for certain canteens but when you go to
a restaurant like this you don't want to eat from plastic. You put it into the pan,
you cook it, you smell it, you feel it, and you see it. You decorate it and you
serve it. It is a symphony of all things together.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Thomas Byrne, Byrne Restaurant, [Geneve]