Christophe Gregoire from Les Tres Bon Restaurant in Bungendore has been honoured with the position of President of Escoffier Association Australia at a ceremony in Singapore.
In a prestigious ceremony at The Fullerton Hotel, Mr Gregoire was among fellow chefs including eleven presidents from eleven different Escoffier delegations in the Asia – Pacific region.
The chefs were tasked with preparing a seven-course degustation dinner for a ‘Black Tie Gala’ with 200 guests invited by the French Embassy in Singapore. The guests represented French stakeholders in Singapore.
Mr Gregoire said “I was worked with Chef Philip Golding President of Philippine Delegation. Together we prepared the second course (second entrée) Bouillabaisse, monk fish, mussel and langoustine with truffles.”
“I suggested the truffle inclusion in the dish, as I wanted to promote our current Australian truffle season. I have been passionate about our Australian truffles from the start – and was proud to showcase them at an international level.”
“We worked solid for two days – preparing the dishes. We helped each other,” he said.
Mr Gregoire’s enthronement as president occurred during the gala dinner, just before dessert was served.
“It was a very emotional ceremony for me,” Mr Gregoire said. “The medal with ‘Australia’ engraved on it – means so much to me. I have been passionate about sharing my knowledge to an Australian audience through my business in Bungendore – but now I am responsible for so much more.”
“I have to take my passion further, reaching more people. I am particularly interested in teaching the young,” he said.
“I have taken the first step – and the first meeting of Escoffier Australian Association will be June 22 at Le Tres Bon in Bungendore.”
The idea to establish an Association in Australia came from the chef of the French Embassy in Australia, Jean-Marie Le Rest. He organised a few meetings and was then posted overseas. He left the Association while still in its infancy. It was Le Rest who put forward Christophe Gregoire’s name as President.
What is the Escoffier Association and who is Auguste Escoffier?
Chef Escoffier was a revolutionary, a visionary. Mr Gregoire said “Most commercial kitchens in the world have adopted his standards; the systematic “brigade” division of labour, his strict hygiene standards, and the uniform – the toque (chef’s hat) and white uniform. He published the “bible” of French cooking – Le Guide Culinaire – codifying French cuisine, techniques and over 5,000 recipes.
“It is important in my profession as a French chef to honour tradition, to respect our masters, forebears and recognise their contribution.” he said.
Disciplines of Escoffier International
The gastronomic association for the maintenance of the good reputation and traditions of French cuisine is governed by the law of July 1, 1901, and August 16, 1901, and the present statutes.
The objectives of the Association are;
- To honour the memory of Auguste Escoffier, Master of French and international cuisine
- To promote and perpetuate his work by keeping and maintaining the great cooking traditions particularly in developing school, secondary, tertiary or professional training of cooks
- To organise gastronomic events worth these traditions, charity events around themes related to gastronomy and a contest called Jeanes Talents Escoffier.
- To value persons and personalities serving the great French cuisine
Mr Gregoire said “I have my job cut out for me. Some of the challenges are based on the fact that Australia is a very large country. My main focus in the first few years is to build solid foundations, processes and infrastructure which will stand the test of time. Start small and strong – and build up the Association from there.”
“My role as President has many facets; establishing an Executive Committee and working with them to achieve the objectives of the Association, while also representing Australia at International events” he concluded.
A French revolution out of Bungendore!