Frederic Chabbert

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 February, 2009, 12:00am

How would you describe your style? 'It's classic French cuisine. Eating fusion food is fun but I don't make it here, I'm not sure it would match the decor. When people come to my restaurant, it's not just for one thing - the food, service, decor or view - it's for the overall experience. My dishes are not like standardised factory products. I focus more on the taste than the visual. Some people say my food tastes good but it could look better. But if I plate it better, it will cool down and won't taste as good.'

Has travelling inspired your cooking? 'The more I travel and learn about new flavours, the more I exclude all those influences and concentrate on what has been done in my country for many years.'

What do you think of the Michelin guide to Hong Kong and Macau? 'At least it puts Hong Kong on the map. But they wrote the guide from an international perspective; Hong Kong people already knew where to go for good food.'

Does a Michelin star create extra pressure? 'Yes, there's a lot and I see it as part of my job. I have to feel a little bit of pressure otherwise I get too relaxed. Pressure pushes me to become more rigorous. What you need in the kitchen during service hours is to be sharp and rigorous. I am also aware that even if I become the best chef in the world, I can't make everyone enjoy my food. That's normal. On the other hand, I know my food can make a lot of people happy.'

Do you like to read reviews about your food? 'Reviews are very subjective so I rarely read critiques or reviews about myself - only the good ones.'

What's your favourite ingredient? 'Black truffles are the ingredient I really like because of their richness of flavour. But if you put truffles in a dish just for the sake of upgrading it, I don't think it's right. I use the truffle as an ingredient not as a selling point.'