Masterchef S01 ep5: Jean-Louis Nomicos, Lasserre Restaurant, [Paris]

Interview with Jean-Louis Nomicos

The magic of the kitchen is the continuous creativity. You always create and you have to re-invent yourself twice a day. You work with products that are alive, that come from the earth. Depending on the season you cook them accordingly. You try to be creative. That's my passion, and of course you try to please the customer.


[Translation for Jean Louis]
Lassere is known as a prestigious restaurant all over the world. I think that it is
every chef's dream to work in this restaurant one day, and my dream has
come true.

[Louis Canfailla]
Mr Lassere started this restaurant in 1942. We are going to celebrate next
year the 60th anniversary of this restaurant.

KM – The 60th?

[Louis Canfailla]
He had just working at the Lido in Paris

KM – He was working originally in Italy?

Yes right, he was.

KM – But this was during the second world war for God’s sake.

Yes you are right but at that time we just sell carrots and vegetables.
Good cuisine was vegetables. But now they are back in fashion.

Jean Nomicos was friends with Mr Alain Ducasse.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

KM – Why did you want to become a cook?

[Jean Louis translation]
It’s something very personal. Nobody in my family is in the restaurant
business. I come from a large family enjoyed watching the pleasure my
grandmother gave when she would cook for many people. She loved cooking
for many people – that’s what made me want to cook. Then there was a
succession of encounters with people who are passionate about cooking who
involved me in this profession.


KM – At 14 years what was the reason you decided to join the kitchen and the
brigade and…

It is like that for every person who is passionate, when you have found a
passion, you have found a goal and you want to progress quickly.

KM – What was the magic of the kitchen?

The magic of the kitchen is the creativity. You always create and you have to
reinvent yourself twice a day. That's important for me. I could not work in
public service where you do the same thing day after day. This is not the case
in our job, you work with products that are alive, that come from the earth.
Depending on the season you cook them accordingly. You try to be creative.
That's my passion, and of course you try to please the customer.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

What I want to say is that haute cuisine is respecting the ingredients that one
is cooking. You must respect the nature of the ingredients you add to a recipe
to obtain a result that conserves the individual taste of the products, which is
the base of your dish.

I think when you go to a restaurant you must understand what you eat. The
flavours should not be over-complicated - but of course it should be creative.

When I prepare something I want that the client to understand what I have
done. I would not like that at the end of the meal he does not remember what
he has eaten - that's very important for me.

KM – When you are cooking your food, what are you trying to achieve?

Jewellery Theatre Elements

I believe in one important principal; a dish should not have more than three
ingredients, three main ingredients – the garnish and many spices as well as
wine. There must not be a blending of too many ingredients for our palate to
distinguish. The rule of three is very important.

KM – At this level when you’re two star michelan and you are obviously aiming
for three michelan – What is the difference for you?


The difference lies really in details that are refined to the extreme - close to
perfection. In a three star, you must perfect the details even more - regardless
of ingredients or cost.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

KM – Why do chefs have this crazy mentality, they want to do this every

Because we are passionate, this passion makes us want to share it with the
people sitting at the table. But for this to happen there should be an alchemy
between service and kitchen that is orchestrated by one person: the chef. It's
very demanding - very high pressure and needs maximum concentration. I
could not do any other job. It is something very personal. I need to have that in
my life!

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Jean-Louis Nomicos, Lasserre Restaurant, [Paris]