Alain Passard has been the chef I’ve been most excited about in the last year. Funny enough, it was also last year when he was awarded the Chef’s Choice Award in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He is a living legend. Here is why. Some decades ago, Alain Passard was one of the aspiring talented chefs of Paris. He was only 26 years young when he received two Michelin stars. Later, he received his third and rose to be one of the most respected French chefs doing classical French cuisine with a meat-centered menu. In 2001, he shocked the culinary world by announcing that he will stop serving meat and focus on vegetables instead. He kept his three Michelin stars nevertheless and evolved to be one of the most influential and revolutionary chefs of our time. For the record, he has introduced meat back to his menu but his focus has remained on cooking the vegetables from his gardens around Paris.
His restaurant L’Arpège is now perhaps the only vegan-friendly restaurant at that level and I find the vegan movement could give him a little more appreciation despite the fact that he is not cooking vegan. Today, vegetables carry the weights of the vegan culinary culture and this man has carried vegetables a long way.
The recipe I’m introducing to you today is inspired from his cookbook “The Art of Cooking Vegetables”. Using high-quality ingredients is crucial to understanding his recipes.
This salad is very simple but if you pay attention to the details – on how he cuts the vegetables, which ingredients he combines – there is definitely something for you will take away from this. I love the fine line between creating something extraordinary and something mundane.
Serves 2. Preparation time: 20 min plus 3 hours of marinating
- 1 large red pepper, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and piths removed
- 2 black tomatoes, cored and sliced
- 1/2 glove of garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
- 1/2 large onion very thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline
- leaves from 1 sprig of coriander
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
Roast the pepper in the oven or on a pan until the skin is easily removable (it’s easier when they are wrapped into a towel after being roasted). Peel them and mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let marinate for three hours. Enjoy!