Paul Feybesse, France finalist: 'I’m going to continue to learn'
Paul Feybesse of restaurant Pavillon Ledoyen by Yannick Alleno in Paris is the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 French regional finalist. The French-born sous-chef will showcase his signature dish of ‘Arlette Onion’ at the grand final at Expo Milano 2015 in June. He spoke to us ahead of the big event.
Tell us about your signature dish.
I created a dish around two basic ingredients, the onion and the potato. It combines modern technique with the soul of traditional French cuisine. The strength of the dish lies in complementing basic rustic ingredients with a luxury product like the truffle, without overpowering either.
What made you decide to become a chef?
When I was 15, I discovered Paul Bocuse on a TV show about Lyon. I was so impressed when I saw the kitchen, so silent, so sharp, so focused. I knew from then on that I had to direct my attention and energy to a craft such as that.
Which chef or chefs inspire you daily and why?
Rasmus Kofoed of Geranium in Copenhagen continues to impress me with his technical creativity and love of perfection. Yannick Alleno, for his knowledge of the French cuisine and his endless quest for rediscovering sauce. Magnus Nilsson, for his crazy ideas on creating plates based on the limited products and seasons of his country.
What’s the best dish you’ve ever tasted - where did you eat it, who cooked it?
A dish by the pastry chef Camille Lesecq, at Le Meurice, called Fines Feuilles de chocolat blanc a l’essence de truffe Blanche. Layers of white chocolate, praline, and truffles, with a crunchy praline feuilleté pastry dough. The power of the white truffle and the aroma of the cocoa was almost overwhelming. So good.
What’s the most challenging aspect of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 for you?
To compete against 19 other candidates from all around the world who have completely different training, styles, and tastes compared to mine. It is both a challenge and a blessing to be able to meet, and go up against, these talented chefs.
What kind of help/guidance would you like from your mentor?
I am searching for more advice on making my dish it even stronger in expressing myself and my style. My mentor, Jean François Piège, is so talented and knowledgeable with flavour, I’m excited to be advised by this chef.
What will you do if you win this competition?
I’m going to continue to learn. This will be a valued stepping stone in my career as a chef, but not the main goal of my life. It will probably open many doors and opportunities, but I promise to keep striving and learning about myself and my style of cooking, and hopefully have my own restaurant in a few years.