The son of musicians, Passard plays the saxophone.
History and Mentors
Alain Passard began his career at Le Lion d’Or in Liffré from 1971 to 1975 under Michel Kéréver, one of the few Michelin-starred Bretons of his time. There, he was exposed to the fundamentals of classic cuisine.
The following year, from 1975 to 1976, Passard entered La Chaumière under triple Michelin macaroon-holder Gaston Boyer, a culinary classicist.
In 1977, Passard worked as a member of a small kitchen team at L’Archestrate, led by Alain Senderens.
In 1980, at Le Duc d’Enghien at the Enghien Casino, Passard received two Michelin macaroons at the age of 26. At the Carlton of Brussels in 1984, he received his first Michelin star.
Influence on Culinary Culture
Acclaimed chef David Kinch of the Los Gatos, California restaurant Manresa cites Passard as “the chef who has most inspired me” in his 2013 cookbook. “He is the only chef I’ve ever met that I can unequivocally call a true artist.” 
Passard purchased L’Archestrate, located on the corner of rue de Varenne and rue de Bourgogne, from his mentor, Alain Senderens, in 1986. 
He renamed it L’Arpège, in tribute to his love for music, and gave it an Art Deco style interior. It earned one star in the Michelin Guide in its first year, and earned two soon thereafter. It earned three Michelin stars in 1996, which it has maintained since. In 2010, he was awarded a “pépite” during the Globes de Cristal ceremony, in honor of his involvement in the fostering of French culture.
In 2001, Passard introduced a vegetable-inspired collection. Passard plans his menu based on the seasons, sourcing natural and organically-grown products from artisans and farmers.
Passard’s desire to work with quality products led to the creation of three kitchen gardens. The first took root in 2002 in the soil of the Sarthe, the second in 2005 in the Eure and the third in 2008 in the Manche. Three gardens in three different regions giving the respective vegetables a soil-suffused signature: sand in the Sarthe for carrots, asparagus and leeks; clay in the Eure for celeriac and cabbage, and lastly, alluvia in the Manche for aromatic herbs.
The farms produce 40 tons annually of organic produce. Animal traction is employed for plowing and harvesting. It is the only restaurant to self-manage its vegetable, herb and red and black fruit production.
Twelve gardeners work the trio’s combined 6 hectares (15 acres), where donkeys, mares, cows, hens and goats also maintain residence.
- Kinch, David; Muhlke, Christine (September 2013). Manresa: An Edible Reflection. p. 50.
- "L'Arpège". themobilefoodguide.com. Retrieved 2012.
- The art of cooking with vegetables by Alain Passard, Frances Lincoln, 2012.
- En cuisine avec Alain Passard, Christophe Blain, Gallimard, 2011.