For chef Olivier Jean of one-MICHELIN-star L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Taipei, the smell of coffee evokes a precious memory of time spent with his mentor, master chef Joël Robuchon (pictured right, photo by L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei).
In 2016, the duo established L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Quebec. It was a cold November morning and snow fell heavily outside the window. A coffee was served to their table, hot and aromatic, and for a moment, Jean felt all the tension and stress from the restaurant's opening just melting away. "The fact of drinking this coffee with Mr. Robuchon was like a big magical moment," he reminisces.
Inspired by that magical moment, the young chef endeavoured to not just serve Nespresso coffee in the restaurant, but incorporate it seamlessly into his dishes as well.
The chef infuses Nespresso's Espresso Origin Brazil into the dish of Simmered Maine Lobster With Chateau-Chalon Wine And Brazil Coffee Lobster Bisque, adding an extra earthy dimension to the sweetness of the soup without losing the savory flavor of the lobster. For the beef course, he prepares a Wagyu beef tenderloin and foie gras Rossini style, crusting the meat with peppercorn and cocoa nibs. The accompanying sauce is blended with Nespresso's Exclusive Selections Nepal Lamjung. Bitter and strong, the coffee balances the sweetness in the sauce and cuts through the richness of the wagyu and foie gras.
"Coffee is the magic ingredient in these dishes," says Olivier Jean. At L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei, he enthusiastically explores new things in his cuisine all the time, and using coffee in savory dishes and not just desserts is a good example.
In his cooking philosophy, the most important thing is generosity: generosity in choosing the best products and using the simplest ways to express these top-notch ingredients to deliver an authentic yet modern French dining experience. "For us, choosing Nespresso to use in our restaurant is to have the same expectation like you have in the food—quality and consistency—to bring the most enjoyable dining experience to the guests," he says.