Alain Passard

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Alain Passard (French pronunciation: ​[alɛ̃ pasaʁ]; born 4 August 1956 at La Guerche-de-Bretagne, France) is a French chef and owner of the three-star restaurant L'Arpège in Paris.

The son of musicians, Passard plays the saxophone.

History and Mentors[edit]

Alain Passard began his career at Le Lion d’Or in Liffré from 1971 to 1975 under the Michelin-starred Breton Michel Kéréver,[1] There, he was exposed to the fundamentals of classic cuisine.

The following year, from 1975 to 1976, Passard entered La Chaumière under triple Michelin Star-holder Gaston Boyer, a culinary classicist.[1]

In 1977, Passard worked as a member of a small kitchen team at L’Archestrate, led by Alain Senderens.[1]

In 1980, at Le Duc d’Enghien at the Enghien Casino, Passard received two Michelin stars at the age of 26. At the Carlton of Brussels in 1984, he also received two Michelin stars.[1]

Influence on Culinary Culture[edit]

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.” [2]


Passard purchased L’Archestrate, located on the corner of rue de Varenne and rue de Bourgogne, from his mentor, Alain Senderens, in 1986. [3]

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 a second soon thereafter. It earned three Michelin stars by 1996, which it has maintained since.[4][5] In 2010, he was awarded a “pépite” during the Globes de Cristal ceremony, in honor of his involvement in the fostering of French culture.

Vegetable farming[edit]

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.[6]

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.[6]

Twelve gardeners work the trio’s combined 6 hectares (15 acres), where donkeys, mares, cows, hens and goats also maintain residence.

L'Arpege has produced a number of chefs and maitre d's significant to French gastronomy:

  • Chef Pascal Barbot and Maitre d' Christophe Rohat of L'Astrance restaurant[4]
  • Chef David Toutain[4]
  • Chef Gunther Hubrechson (now in Singapore)
  • Owner Laurent Lapaire of Agape restaurants


  1. ^ a b c d "Alain Passard". France Inter. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Kinch, David; Muhlke, Christine (September 2013). Manresa: An Edible Reflection. p. 50. 
  3. ^ "L'Arpège". Retrieved 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Marshall, Alexandra. "In Paris, a Culinary Homage to the French Master Alain Passard". New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "L'Arpège". Michelin. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Majoube, Ulla. "Alain Passard: "Mes jardins sont devenus des compagnons de route"". L'Express. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 


External links[edit]