When we talk about green cuisine, we are not only talking about food that is good for our health, we are also considering the issue of protecting the environment and our future life on Earth. Chef Alain Dutournier expressed his own views on green cuisine at the Festival of Flavours held between November 19th and 23rd at Press Club to praise French haute cuisine.[rpi]
Sustainable development in cuisine is in the interest of many countries all over the world today. Many restaurants also focus on this emerging trend with the aim of serving diners with clean dishes from farm to table. Additionally, they also study measures to reduce the use of electricity, water and single-use plastic materials to save energy and limit waste, which in turn contributes to protecting the lives of future generations.
Chef Alain Dutournier of Press Club has always followed a “green living” lifestyle. He was born and raised in the countryside in southwest France. Since his childhood, he has been acquainted with homegrown fruit and vegetables, cattle and poultry raising and seafood. He also has fond childhood memories of a range of rustic dishes made by his mother and grandmother, so he has a profound understanding of the exquisite value of authentic local products. After he had become a great cook with two Michelin-star restaurants in Paris, he still enjoyed wandering around the markets, shopping for seasonal ingredients and using clearly-derived food to create new menu ideas.
“I have a strict demand for quality of natural ingredients. At Press Club, I always follow the philosophy of respecting nature and maximising the freshness and deliciousness of ingredients. They play an important role in bringing the exceptional taste to my dishes as well as ensuring nutritional value for our diners and consciousness in protecting our environment” revealed chef Alain Dutournier.
From his perspective, strictly controlling ingredients does not limit the creativity of the chefs. His dishes are always appreciated for their originality and novelty, from cooking to decoration. “From seemingly regular ingredients, a talented chef can plate up countless memorable dishes for culinary connoisseurs with just a few minor variations. You can lose yourself on my unique culinary journey at the Festival of Flavours” he said.
Aside from using a reliable source of ingredients, green cuisine incorporates an amazing variety of cooking methods. Alain Dutournier always respects and appreciates authentic ingredients. He strongly objects dishes that use too much spice and fat as diners cannot appreciate the original taste of the ingredients.
In his opinion, using the right combination of seasonings just compliments the freshness and deliciousness of the ingredients, rather than deceiving the diners’ tastes. For example, when creating oyster jelly, he added seawater to highlight the rich taste of the oysters. Enhancing the flavour this way had diners feel as if they were exploring the depths of the ocean.
There are very little leftovers in the Press Club kitchen. Every dish is prepared and cooked in an extremely meticulous way. Therefore, chefs can accurately estimate the number of ingredients needed to reduce leftovers and out-of-date food. Plastic and nylon materials are also minimised and are gradually being replaced with organic products. The use of locally sourced ingredients is also encouraged to ensure the freshness and uniqueness of every dish.
Chef Alain also gives advice for people at home, “If possible, you could make your own small garden, on the ground or balcony, you could even plant vegetables in foam boxes and put them on the rooftop. Wherever you grow your own produce, you will have a clean source of vegetables to ensure healthy meals for your family”.
Green cuisine is becoming a popular trend worldwide. According to reports in the food industries around the world, consumers are paying more attention to the origin of ingredients, not only with home-cooked food but also food at restaurants, even bars. In Vietnam, restaurants that have strict control of ingredients like Press Club are not as popular, but the Press Club is confident in its competitiveness thanks to diners’ willingness and support.
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