World chefs: Gagnaire adds Twist at Las Vegas venue

Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:18am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Three-star Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire, who has restaurants dotted around the globe, is about to make his first foray in the United States with a new one in Las Vegas.

The 59-year-old Frenchman, who has been described as France's most innovative chef, is renowned for his structured dishes, which combine classic techniques with modern flair.

In collaboration with French chemist Herve This, who is recognized as the father of molecular gastronomy, he also created what is claimed to be the world's first dish made entirely of pure compounds.

Gagnaire spoke to Reuters about his cooking style, growing up in France and his latest venture, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, which opens in December at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas.

Q: You come from a family of restaurant owners. Is that where your initial inspiration to become a chef came from?

A: "Yes and no. Yes, because I was under pressure to be a chef, although I didn't like it at the beginning. I grew to like it. When I grew to like it I said if I am going to be a chef I am going to enjoy myself.

"And no, because as a child I saw that it involved long hours and stress which didn't inspire me."

Q: So where did the inspiration come from?   Continued...

<p>French chef Pierre Gagnaire is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Jacob Snavely for Mandarin Oriental/Handout</p>