Thierry Gardinier, co-director of Taillevent, a famous luxury restaurant in Paris, recently shared his thoughts with us on wine, French cuisine and entrepreneurship.
Elaborating on his involvement with The Luxury League, he said, “Ritu Beri has explained to me that the Indian people who are proud of their own cuisine are more open to French gastronomy than they were before.”
As a French food connoisseur and businessman, Gardinier believes that the uniqueness of French cuisine comes from “the balance between the flavours and the textures”. Drawing a further parallel between Indian and French cuisines, he added, “Indian cuisine has various flavours, and is influenced by spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables. The French cuisine, too, has various herbs, but the meat that goes with it is different and animals are the base of this cuisine.”
Talking about his luxury restaurant, he said, “Taillevent has always been a bridge between classic French cuisine and the influence of what we can call modern French cuisine.”
As to the secret to finding a perfect pairing between wine and food, Gardinier believes that we need “to determine which one dish or wine you want to emphasise. For example, if you want to drink a rich and fat red wine, you will choose strong red meat but if you want the strong red meat first, you may prefer a delicate red wine with maybe more subtlety.”
His is among the most successful food establishments in the French luxury space. But luxury, according to Gardinier, does not have to mean rich and expensive all the time. As he said, “Simplicity with elegance is real luxury, and is the most difficult thing to achieve.”
He also shared his thoughts on the farm-to-table concept: “This concept is becoming stronger and stronger every year. The consumer wants to know where the product he is buying comes from and he prefers short distribution channels.”
He gets inspired by his experiences, including his successes and his failures. We asked him if he had any advice for budding restaurateurs. “Choose the market where you want to establish yourself or your product. Adapt your cuisine and your pricing to it. Offer quality products and keep a sense of hospitality,” he said.