An exclusive Interview
It’s not everyday that we get into the kitchen of Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. Perched on the top of the hotel’s first founding accommodation building, the fine-dining French restaurant is known not just for their classic elegance, the food and the view and the impeccable services, but also, in my case, series of special and mostly elaborate events. For most people, we certainly included, the place is reserved for exclusive, extraordinary and memorable occasions. Eleventh wedding anniversary, perhaps? (hint, hint:) Or the latest achievement of the minds? All in all, this is a fabulous place to come, dressed up to the nine, and celebrate.
Le Normandie is also a place frequented by world-class chefs, mostly, of course, those from France, or, if otherwise, those with worldly recognition and fame. Their fans include not just the highest echelons of the society, but also fine-dining enthusiasts who look out for the latest name arriving to cook for limited period at this restaurant.
And of course, during this November 20-23, Le Normandie is welcoming Chef Bernard Vaussion who had been the ‘presidential chef’ at the Elysee Palace – the official residence of the President of the French Republic – for more than 40 years. He has been the one who served four presidents of France, from Valery Giscard d’Estaing (from the year 1974), Francois Mitterand, Jacques Chirac, Nocolas Sarkozy and the most recent Francois Hollande who just took the office in 2012.
The subject of the interview is as exciting as the execution logistics. Since the chef is not speaking English, we enlist the kind help of Mr. Rahman Bousnina, Le Normandie’s Maitre d’hotel, for his assistance translating and narrating. Mr. Vaussion cooks for the camera and then sits down for a quick questions and answers. Watch our video that shows you not only the rare glimpse the chef in action, but also the compact and cozy kitchen of Le Normandie. We would like to thank the kitchen team for their kind support here, too.
Back to the food, the chef explains that France is the land of natural bounty and throughout his years cooking at the Elysee Palace, he has enjoyed exploring the fine tastes of the local ingredients, cooking them and surprising his ‘guests’ on the daily basis. Chef Vaussion is the man who has cooked for the presidents three meals a day, plus arranging countless state parties. The chef recalls cooking for Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Albert II, Prince of Monaco and Barak Obama, President of the United States.
As for Thailand, he is cooking dishes he once prepared for the presidents and showcasing French fresh ingredients and gastronomical wonders, from the scallops and the truffles to the Dover sole and the poached pear. As for the presidents’ favorite dishes, Chef Vaussion says he could not elaborate much due to discretion, but at least he could tell us that Valery Giscard liked truffle scrambled eggs, while Francois Mitterand loved seafood.
You can now book a table and enjoy Chef Vaussion’s creations at T: 02-659-9000 ext: 7670, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for their online menu; lunch is Bt2,950++ and dinner Bt5,600++ per person.