PIERRE GAGNAIRE & JOHANNES NUDING
Pierre Gagnaire has reinterpreted the cuisine .
Born on April 9, 1950 in Apinac, France, Pierre Gagnaire is one of the most creative, original and crazy top chefs of the present day.
Gagnaire’s father Jean-Claude Gagnaire runs the café and restaurant “Le Clos Fleuri” in Saint-Priest-en-Jarez near Saint- Étienne. Pierre worked there as a pastry chef and took a course at the Pâtisserie Nelson in Saint-Étienne in 1964. In 1965 he took part in a summer internship at Paul Bocuse and then began training at Raoul Desprez in the “Chez Juliette” restaurant in Lyon. He then becomes chef in the restaurant “Aunt Alice” in Lyon. In 1970, during his military service, Gagnaire worked as a Cuisinier admiral (head chef) in the officers’ galley on the former French destroyer “Surcouf”. Further stations followed, such as 1973 in Paris as Chef de Partie in the “Hotel Intercontinental” and at Alain Senderens in the “Lucas Carton”. After a two-year journey across America with his wife Gabrielle, he returned to his father’s restaurant in 1976. There he developed his own style with a cuisine characterized by local products.
His futuristic visions do not fit into any scheme. Often he is admired for his amazing combinations, often they cause controversy, but no one is indifferent to them. “Cooking,” says Pierre Gagnaire, “is not measured by tradition or modernity. You have to read in it the tenderness of the cook.”
Although his cuisine is based on tradition, he developed his own signature early on, with uninhibitedly contradictory tastes, textures and ingredients. In his restaurant in Saint-Étienne, which opened in 1981 and was awarded three stars in 1994, he cooks for himself a world-renowned chef. In doing so, he exerts himself in every respect. At the end of 1996, Gagnaire made a new start in Paris, experienced a brilliant rise and today more than 20 restaurants in eight countries bear his name, including the “Pierre Gagnaire” in Paris and the restaurant “The Lecture Room & Library” in “sketch” in London, which was awarded with three Michelin stars.
Pierre Gagnaire offers great culinary art at the very highest level – “he has,” the jury said in its statement, “reinterpreted the kitchen. The unusual partnership with Johannes Nuding proves that, contrary to the cliché, top chefs are also outstanding team players.
Johannes Nuding – the signature of the next generation
Johannes Nuding, who comes from Tyrol, is one of the great experts of our time. After his training at the hotelier school Villa Blanka in Austria he worked in simple kitchens in the Alps before he moved to Paris in 2006. He first worked in Joël Robuchon’s 2-star restaurant “La table” before moving to Pierre Gagnaire. He worked in his restaurant for three years until Gagnaire offered the 25-year-old the chef’s job at “Les Menu” in Moscow. There they began to develop menus together.
In 2014 Gagnaire brings him to London and he gets a “carte blanche” to develop the restaurant in “sketch”. He succeeds with bravura and takes the restaurant to a new level. Nuding further develops the French cuisine and skilfully integrates regional elements from his Austrian homeland. “We always ate well at home,” says Nuding. “My grandmother was an amazing cook. We had nothing fancy, no truffles or Foie Gras. It was the simple things she cooked with love. We had a huge garden behind the house with radishes, beans and cauliflower. My mother went out and picked the vegetables. She cooked for lunch and we sat down for an hour. Then we had dinner together. We always sat down for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was no television, no telephone, it was a time when we ate and enjoyed each other’s company. This attitude characterizes Johannes Nuding’s kitchen. It focuses on the basics. In 2019 he will be awarded three Michelin stars for his creations – the first Austrian chef since Eckart Witzigmann.
“Gagnaire and Nuding,” the jury said, “offer their guests an extravagant, luxurious, whimsical and theatrical experience that appeals to all the senses. The teamwork of the two sensitive individualists is a unique exception: it gives new, trend-setting impulses to the art of cooking and creates an incomparable experience”.