World Chefs: For Tison local, seasonal ingredients are key

Tue Mar 8, 2011 7:41am EST
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Bruno Tison uses his classical French culinary training and the freshest American ingredients to create innovative dishes that have earned a Michelin star for the restaurant Sante in northern California.

Tison moved to Sante at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, where he oversees a staff of 150, from the company's sister property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, where he cooked for the rich and famous, including the weddings of actor Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, real estate mogul Donald Trump and comedian Eddy Murphy.

He trained with some of France's greatest chefs, including Bernard Waterlot, Roger Verge, Michel Guerard and Alain Chapel before moving to the United States more than two decades ago,

The 52-year-old Frenchman talked to Reuters about his approach to cooking, his favorite ingredients and a program at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts -- Lifestyle Cuisine Plus, which offers gluten-free meals and dishes on request for guests with diabetes and heart disease or for those who follow macrobiotic, raw and vegan diets.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a chef?

A: "Being raised in my grandfather's bakery, I always had a passion for cooking great food. My grandfather was somebody who loved art, painting, nice things. When there was a celebration at home he would cook the entire dinner for the whole family and guests, hand-write the menu with a beautiful ink pen, French style, and he would make a beautiful flower arrangement."

Q: How would you describe your style of cooking?

A: "French. It is very French but, of course, I've been working in the United States for 28 years so there is definitely a very strong American influence. I would categorize American influence as a bit of Asian, southern, Italian, Spanish -- a melting pot of cuisine. The United States has such a wide range of cuisines that you have to be influenced by that ... I am a big fan of using local, organic, sustainable products."   Continued...

 
<p>Chef Bruno Tison poses in northern California, in this undated handout picture. Tison uses his classical French culinary training and the freshest American ingredients to create innovative dishes that have earned a Michelin star for the restaurant Sante in northern California. REUTERS/Handout</p>