Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pierre Gagnaire? That's Pretty Cool

Score for the folks at Lotte.

Le restaurant de Pierre Gagnaire is coming to the Lotte Hotel Seoul.

Pierre Gagnaire Restaurant to Open in Seoul

The world renowned French chef Pierre Gagnaire, called the "Henri Matisse of the culinary world", will open a restaurant next spring at Lotte Hotel Seoul.

Lotte Hotel said, "We signed an agreement in Paris recently to that affect. The restaurant chain also named Pierre Gagnaire exists only in France, Japan and Hong Kong, and so its advance into Korea points to the country's high marketability."

The restaurant has earned the top three-star rating from the prestigious Michelin guide and was named the world's third best by the British journal "Restaurant" this year.

The 57-year-old Chef Gagnaire is recognized as a leader in the global trend of molecular gastronomy.

Lotte said it had struggled since January to win the deal and that the French chain has finally acknowledged its endeavor.

The hotel said the famed chef will visit Korea regularly to showcase his food and personally develop menus.
I saw Chef Gagnaire recently on Talk Asia on CNN discussing food with with Anjali Rao.

For what it's worth, that will be really exciting. However, the nouveau riche in Seoul might actually ruin it (or make it the kind of fun you shouldn't have in a crowd, that is, a lot of snickering). If I'm still around when it opens, I'll let the frenzy around it settle before making a reservation.

The nouveau riche (and not so riche) here still haven't figured out the difference between straws and plastic coffee stirrers. I kid you not.

However, with top tier gastronomers like Gagnaire setting up shop in Seoul that should change fairly quickly.

Plus, I can't talk. I just tried this product for the first time while reading the story. Yep, an instant 포테토밀, potato meal. (That is just "potato meal" written in Korean.)

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  1. Wait. You mean those things aren't straws? No wonder I keep burning my tongue. (kidding, but you'd be surprised how many people I see here in the states doing the same thing.)

  2. Yeah, I know.

    I forget that I'm part of that coffee house generation, well honed in my coffee ways by too much time in local coffee houses in San Francisco.

    That's why I balanced the dig on the Korean nouveau riche by revealing that when that thought entered my head I had just finished eating an instant potato meal ;-)

    I know if I went through a public area in the States, I'd see some homegrown ignoramuses too. It's just that I see it ALL the time as I spent last term living in the local coffee houses. By midterms the folks knew me by name I was there so much.

  3. So how was the Potato Meal?

  4. Eh, it was so-so.

    Thanks for asking.


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