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MICHELIN STAR CHEF SEBASTIAN SANJOU

Jasmeen Dugal  (click here to know more about this blogger)

"The Restaurateur" is a compelling look behind the scenes of the culinary corridor — from Michelin-starred restaurants to the untold art of restaurateurs and chefs. Today Michelin Star Chef Sébastian Sanjou, who hails from Southern France and is synonymous with his restaurant Le Relais des Moines in Les Arcs- sur- Argens, reminisces about his early days, his culinary style and his experience at Goût de France in Udaipur City Palace where he curated a four-course menu for guests hosted by Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Maharana Of Udaipur and H.E. François Richier, Ambassador of France to India.

 

"I have always wanted to be a chef, since my childhood, when I never thought of another career! After training at hotel school in Biarritz, and invaluable experience working alongside Christian Willer at Palme d'Or Cannes and Villa St. Elmo in Issambresand in the group Serge Blanco, I joined my parent's restaurant St. Aygulf in the Var. Today my own restaurant has been crowned with a Michelin Star," he smiles. "It's all about dedication... to make the best that I can. It's something that can be learned but there's got to be passion, dedication and hard work. I enjoy each day as a chef as I can give diners the opportunity to discover my culinary culture." The core focus of his menu is quality products. It's not just about presentation — it's flavour. "That's most important! Fresh vegetables and herbs pulled from the garden bring out real flavours of a dish. I also enjoy preparing dishes with traditional techniques like 'slow cooking'. For me, to highlight the tradition of French cuisine is respecting our culture… and then I add creativity in the mix. My feelings and viewpoint are always a part of my creations. For instance, I love working with products that can be used in a number of ways, such as asparagus, that can be eaten raw, cooked, candied or as a mousse."

 

"Preparing a dinner in India is not so different! I travelled to Udaipur with my team and most of the ingredients and the co-operation of the chefs and the impressive kitchen logistics at Udaipur City Palace was so heartwarming. In fact, I discovered that that the Maharana himself loves cooking and it's a dream to one day cook beside him" he revealed shyly. "The most important thing I, as a chef, believe in, is keeping the culture of guests I'm cooking for, in mind. Hey, a French chef can adjust to Indian palate! 50 per cent, maybe more, Indians are vegetarian so I decided to prepare a vegetarian dinner where the third course starred lentils which is an Indian staple… to tease their palate. It had the desired effect! Not everyone knew that it was green lentils that grows in abundance in my ancestral land in Southern France and I had brought it with me!! It was a creative experiment that worked well and I was so glad that it had the desired effect" he grinned. "My vision is to be remembered as a chef who made an impact!" The young man got his wish. Each course, paired with excellent wine, was so flavourful that he got a standing ovation, cheers and applause from each discerning diner present in the intimate dinner hosted at the historic Udaipur City Palace!!

 

As he gets up to leave for a sightseeing tour of Udaipur before boarding a flight back to France, he sighs "my goal is to work towards getting another star for my one Michelin Star restaurant. Until then I am happy travelling with my team of chefs and ingredients to prepare a French meal in any part of the world. I have already done the same in Russia, Jakarta, Indonesia…" he smiles as he waves goodbye. I wish the young star-truffled chef luck!!

 
Sebastian Sanjou
Michelin Star Chef Sebastian Sanjou
 
Sebastian Sanjou
The Pleasures Of A Fine Table; Goût de France in Udaipur City Palace
 
Sebastian Sanjou
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Maharana Of Udaipur gives Chef Sabastian Sanjou a standing ovation
 
Sebastian Sanjou
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, Maharana Of Udaipur honours Chef Sebastian Sanjou
 
27-MARCH-2016
 
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