Andrée Rosier Chef Demonstration at Le Cordon Bleu
She is the first female chef to win the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), France’s most prestigious national prize, which she did at the age of just 27. She runs three restaurants in highly competitive food-culture cities, Biarritz and Ginza, Tokyo. Andrée Rosier visited Le Cordon Bleu in Daikanyama recently to show us how it’s done.
I had the chance to meet master chef Andrée Rosier and sit for a demonstration of her signature dishes at the Le Cordon Bleu in Daikanyama recently. Incredibly young, incredibly accomplished, she told us about her Basque background and how she learned by cooking alongside her mother as she conducted her three-course menu. She began with what seemed like random movements, first selecting tasks from each dish that would take the most time and slowly, the static of the kitchen started to make sense and each of her decisions fell into place as the dishes came together.
While a little different from having an actual cooking lesson, there are unmistakable benefits of having time in front of a master chef: watching how she does the fundamentals like fillet a fish or hold a knife, or breaks down the daunting elements like jellifying cucumber puree and creating a floating mousse bed for a fillet to rest on. The blow-away moment, however, was how creative and inspired she is in her presentation: this stage required 3-D artistry that considers the entire experience of the food, from the color balance to the fragrance that introduces the dish.
*Key takeaway: Lightly shave a citrus peel over a first course to open the senses to the dining experience and stimulate the appetite. It also adds flecks of color to the plate, as you like.
Watching a master chef at work gives a view into how much technical skill is required, but also how skill is only useful if you have the confidence, authority, and instinct with which to deliver it. Andrée has all of these in a rich bouquet. The first female chef to win the MOF and at such a young age, she has the talent and credentials to direct the next generation. For today, she runs restaurants in Biarritz and Tokyo with her husband, an acclaimed chef in his own right. And with possibly the wisest parting words, she left us with advice to “always taste; it’s important.”
Andrée’s visit is part of an ongoing series of guest chef sessions hosted by Le Cordon Bleu to complement its diploma courses and short course programs. Available in Japanese, English or Chinese, Le Cordon Bleu’s courses introduce basic recipes for anyone interested in the culinary arts. They run from one to two hours and are open to students of all levels, and spaces are still available for December. I have my eye on a Bûche de Noël lesson for Christmas Eve!
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