Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owner of Château Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion, is to publish a cookbook from its two-Michelin starred Paris restaurant Le Clarence based on the cuisine of chef Christophe Pelé.
President and fourth generation member of the family business, HRH Prince Robert de Luxembourg, in 2015 established Le Clarence which is set in a mansion house just off the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Having been impressed with the quality of Pelé’s cooking, Prince Robert invited him to take the helm at Le Clarence, describing him as “a kind of a rebel, who has acquired a very solid foundation and a deft command of traditional French cuisine”.
The book, which includes 70 recipes, is due to be published on 2 October. It has been written and edited by Japanese food author Chihiro Masui with photography from Richard Haughton.
Commenting on the publication of the book, Masui said: “Never superficial, always honest, Christophe Pelé’s cuisine is pure, timeless and without frills. His imagination and powers of seduction set him apart from all others.
“Every dish, is both straightforward and yet remarkable in its precision. Without artifice, they cut right through and challenge any of our preconceived ideas about taste. Every composition, to the eye, nose and palate, display a purity, a restraint and something of the divine.”
The restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars a year after it opened. The 320-page, hardback volume will retail for around €60.
Le Clarence’s wine list is exclusively devoted to French wine and spirits. The restaurant was decorated in the latest edition of the World Restaurant Awards, taking home the award for ‘original thinking’.
The judges said: “Behind the thick carpets and marbles of the most typically French of hotels lies the most contemporary lab one could dream of. Here there are no limits: Le Clarence is a UFO. You might expect extreme fanciness, the art of Belles Manières brought up to soften any possible edgy stuff, but on the contrary you get instead a cuisine burning like a candle at both ends, always with no safety net.
“And that’s the way Christophe Pelé really is – a driving force behind the whole team, not just the chef in control. Beware! When he cooks, when he jerks into his fast-track, high-speed slang, it’s a stream of consciousness redolent of James Joyce – but so French, so so Parisian, a misfit in his most beautiful lair just behind the Champs-Elysées. Christophe Pelé is the real thing.
“Look no further for the future of French cuisine. This is where accomplished perfectionism and rock’n’roll attitude merge. Fear no repetition, at Le Clarence improvisation is the breath of life. Triple wow! What a smack! Please don’t wake me up. But it’s for real and not just a dream: Le Clarence is here to stay. The only place where fine dining never forgets to be fun dining too. What a kick, indeed!”
Published by Glenat Livres, the book will be available in French and English.