The master of the kitchen at Georges V’s Le Cinq since June 2008 is Executive Chef Eric Briffard, who oversees the largest kitchen team in Europe: 115cooks, 7 apprentices, 15 sous-chefs and 13 sommeliers. Chef Briffard is the first to arrive and the last to leave the kitchen, where 17 to 18 hour days six days a week are common.
Chef Briffard’s haute cuisine has been drawing raves in Paris and throughout Europe – perhaps surprising the diner with a bit of Asian influence when one least expects it, even for such traditional gastronomique delights as truffles and lobster. Or, who would expect sushi grade abalone prepared several ways from tartare to meuniere style? It’s a fun twist on traditional French cuisine.
George V’s Chef Briffard’s superb credentials include an apprenticeship with Joel Robuchon. With a focus on the freshest and best regional ingredients, Chef Briffard is known as a perfectionist when it comes to food and its presentation. Nothing but the best will suffice.Chef Briffard has been kind enough to share some of his background with me. Q Who most influenced your love of cooking?
My grandmother. (My research shows that Eric’s grandfather used to bake the family bread and even produced their own nut oil).Q What is your favorite food you cook at home? I like all food, that’s why I became a chef! Q If you could share one secret for young chefs, what would it be? To be passionate, enjoy yourself, and love to eat! Q What do you enjoy most about your job? The gastronomical aspect as well as the sharing. Q What is the process for inspiring new recipes on the menu for Le Cinq? I must be inspired when meeting the right product. I go meet growers, as it is the natural food that is essential to creating a great dish. Q What is your personal favorite dish on the menu? That is a hard question, as it changes constantly and depends on the season. However, my favorite dish will always be whatever my last creation is!
– The Gourmet Review