Yannick Alleno’s Tips For Opening A World-Class Restaurant In Hong Kong

Leadership

September 13, 2017 | BY Lee Williamson

The renowned culinary master dishes the secrets to the success of his 17 restaurants around the world

French chef Yannick Alleno talked to T.Dining recently about his latest project in Hong Kong. Terroir Parisien, in Central, is a bistro-style restaurant offering a casual take on French classics. The restaurant is the 17th around the world managed by the chef, who has been awarded three Michelin stars over his 40-year career.

Read on for the nuggets of wisdom we extracted from Alleno’s conversation with T Dining. Or McNuggets, as it were. Our key takeaway from the interview? Even Michelin maestros love a good Big Mac.

Timing is everything

"Over the past few years we have come to scout locations and examine the food scene. I wanted to know if Hong Kong is ready for us, and vice versa, whether my restaurant fits in the edible landscape of the known food paradise of Asia."

The interior at Terroir Parisien. Photo courtesy of Terroir Parisien.

The devil's in the detail

"The most important detail in cuisine is what the people can feel but cannot see. When you make food, you need to [be] straight to the point and reflect honesty and truth on the plate. There is simply no room to be too clever. Everything is about detail, and for chefs, it is always important to remember to master the basics, and be creative with the rest."

Yannick Alleno in Central, where Terroir Parisien is located. Photo courtesy of Terroir Parisien

Fine dining doesn’t have to be formal

"Fine dining, at its core, should reflect the chef’s identity. For me, fine dining is about people coming to us for an experience, and us showing them something unique on our plates, so they can connect not only to the food but also with us in food language. Formality isn’t the most important element about fine dining; it should be about appreciating the efforts and the connection."

The hamburger at Terroir Parisien. Photo courtesy of Terroir Parisien.

A restaurant can never be too fancy for burgers

"I love Heinz ketchup. I also enjoy junk food. Burgers, to be exact. I used to go to McDonald’s and have Big Macs with my son. Then my love for burgers became my work, as I developed the burger at Le Meurice. People love it, as we took the time to deconstruct each element of the burger, make it perfect and put it back together. I also love hot dogs, which I have also created for [new Hong Kong restaurant] Terroir Parisien."