Masterchef S01 ep8: Christian Delouvier, Le Espinasse Restaurant, [New York]

Interview with Christian Delouvier

To survive in New York you have to be successful. It's very Bottom Line. New Yorkers are happy to pay but they have to get an experience. That is what it is all about.


Lespinasse is a four star restaurant, or 5 star Mobil and..5 diamonds and
on and on and on. To me it is a continuation of passion for my work.

The idea to become a cook came because I had a good background in my
family. My grandmothers were both excellent cooks. My mother loved to cook
for us.

KM: Where was this in Provence?

It was in Tolouse, in Tolouse - Gasconne.

When I was around 16, 17, I went to Paris and at a restaurant called Café
della Pe and we used to be two floors down at the level of the subway and I
remember in the morning when we started we could hear the subway. The
building was shaking a little bit. I was come di associate that means I was the
assistant to the chef associate, Chef Associate was Charles Rodger was
probably 57, 58 years old when I was 16, 17, he was my idol. You know, I
respected him so much. He was never a star chef, or whatever, but he was an
associate that knew everything about sauces and I was lucky enough to work
for 3 years with him, and then I realised that this was for me.

Associate is making the meal; the sauce is the essence of cooking. Even now I
do things that I used to do years ago.

So I travelled a lot, and then one day I decided to get back into somebody who
was great and I worked with Alain Senderens..

KM: Oh of course,

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Lucas Carton for seven years, two years in Paris then I came here and I
opened the Restaurant at the Park Meridien with him. Him as a consultant and
me as the Chef.

KM: Yes, what was different about Senderens?

Senderens was the association of taste.

KM: What do you mean by that?

Association of trying to find new flavour. Alain Senderens was one of the
masters of the Cuisine Nouvelle. Nouvelle Cusiine.

KM: With Mossimann of course.

Yeah, o.k. he find a new flavour. He used to have a dish "Lobster a la vanille"
and Senderens used to tell me, you know, why does the vanilla goes well with
the Lobster because less you cook the lobster the sweeter it is and when you
put the vanilla with it, it goes well together.


What we are doing now is the food that is very tasty with light, the foundation
of where I am coming from. Last winter we had a piece of slab bacon, and the
slab bacon is blanched first in water to clean it up and is cooked in bouillon and
then it is pressed so it becomes very flat. We take the rind off and then what I
do is I put the fat down and I cook it very slowly and finish it in the oven and it
is great. And that is a piece of pork but it is like butter. We do short ribs of beef
- we marinate them for one week and with the trimmings we make stock and
then I braise my ribs with fresh wine and then the marinade and the stock and
in the oven and I put rind of pork in it so like this it doesn't get stuck - Very
slowly in the oven. We serve that with fresh shallots that are cooked in the
oven in their skins and then take them out and finish it. Then on top I take a
beautiful piece of sirloin steak cooked, I slice it, and I put a rib with the sauce
with the rare meat to contrast.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

We work also with fish. I love fish only steamed with olive oil. So with fish I like
it very light so with meat I like to give it a little umph. Yeah.

When we came here years ago, we the French bought our techniques and
produce in a way and we took what we knew and we worked with what we had
and then after that we started with the new guys coming up.

When I came with Senderens here we started to work to find a new product
and to try more importantly to initiate the American palate to those new

KM: So in other words to start to educate the palate.


Jewellery Theatre Elements

In around us, different hotel school tries to train young kids, young Americans
get crazy about French cooking, and all the education they need to start their
own careers. And I think that the French kind of competition in there and the
American chefs are doing very very well.

I think in New York first of all to survive in New York you have to be

KM: Bottom Line

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Bottom Line they are happy to pay but they have to get an experience, that is
what it is all about and I think that there is nothing wrong with that.


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Christian Delouvrier, Le Espinasse Restraunt, [New York]