Take the time to eat well in a fast-moving world

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is a leading hospitality university with offices in Switzerland and Singapore. EHL’s Nutrition Research and Development Institute is conducting a series of interviews with world-renowned chefs to explore current challenges and future innovations in their field. The third in this series of interviews is with award-winning Belgian-born chef Emmanuel Stroobant. Its restaurant, Le Saint Pierre, is a contemporary French establishment with a history of gastronomic excellence since 2000; cooking is guided by Stroobant’s philosophical approach to simplicity and product quality.

Eat mindfully

Michelin-starred chef Emmanuel Stroobant has run a thriving food and beverage business in Singapore for over 20 years. However, it was her early years growing up on a farm in Belgium that sowed the seeds for her approach to cooking and her insistence on using fresh, natural and seasonal ingredients.

Admittedly, he says, the practice of eating well can be a challenge to execute for casual restaurants, where customers typically want hearty portions at affordable prices. Preparing foods from scratch using fresh or organic ingredients tends to be more expensive and time-consuming than opting for processed foods. Access to quality ingredients can also be limited in different parts of the world.

Another challenge is the interruption of the mealtime ritual. It’s not uncommon for people to eat while scrolling their phone or watching TV. Distracted eating can often lead to negative health consequences, such as obesity, indigestion and a lower metabolism, especially when foods are high in trans fats and sugar. Stroobant, who lowered his cholesterol levels when he became a vegetarian in his 40s, seeks to share the benefits of mindful eating, an approach that focuses on maintaining a mindful presence and awareness of the food you you put into your body.

Gourmet ingredients = high-end meals

Stroobant recognizes that serving quality produce is easier at its Michelin-starred restaurants: Saint-Pierre, a modern French restaurant with Asian accents, and Shoukouwa, an Edomae sushi restaurant. Both establishments are located at One Fullerton in Singapore. Having developed close relationships with a network of growers and producers in Europe and an exclusive source of buyers in Japan, the two restaurants spare no effort to transform these ingredients into gastronomic experiences for their diners.

The Michelin stars keep us in suspense, Strobant explains. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s our job to make sure everything we deliver is of a high standard.

Kitchen tours: an insider’s experience

In high-end restaurants, it is easier to raise a customer’s level of food awareness because food lovers tend to have a natural curiosity about where ingredients come from. In Saint Pierre, Stroobant organizes kitchen tours for guests who want to see how he and his team of chefs work.

For serious foodies, he encourages them to come back and spend anywhere from two hours to a full day in the kitchen. The benefits go both ways: his team gets to demonstrate their passion and respect for culinary craftsmanship, and customers learn what it takes to prepare a fresh, delicious dish. It really works like magic for us. These days, my clients are looking more for an experience, something that money can’t buy.

Food origins and stories

Foodies are not just drawn to the chefs of fine dining restaurants, but, increasingly, to the stories of the artisans behind the products. Therefore, restaurants must also differentiate themselves by sharing the origins of their signature dishes and ingredients. Stroobant reveals that he recently collaborated with a friend who imports Chartreuse from his native village in Grenoble. His friend approached customers at his restaurant and regaled them with the story of how his grandmother harvested the herbs that make up the ingredients for this popular French liqueur.

What do leaders have that they can give to someone else? asks Strobant. Answer: Their own background, their family history and their history.

Make Meatless Meals Tasty

As a vegetarian, Stroobant has heard that common refrain from naysayers that a meatless meal isn’t tasty. He begs to differ. At a recent conference in Geneva on plant proteins, Stroobant suggested that the food industry look to other parts of the world for flavor options if it wants more people to go meatless and reduce fat. impact of animal agriculture on the environment.

India and China use many spices that not only stimulate the tongue but also have health benefits, such as turmeric. In Japan, dashi, sake, mirin and soy are the basis of authentic Japanese cuisine. These four basic ingredients alone form the solid foundation of many dishes that omakase restaurants like Shoukouwa are known for.

To create flavor, Strobant advises, look to others who have been doing it for centuries rather than reinventing the wheel.

Under his culinary direction, the Emmanuel Stroobant Group also manages other restaurant concepts, including two Michelin-starred Shoukouwa Sushi restaurants, Kingdom of Belgians, SQUE Rotisserie & Alehouse, Mycelium Catering and Star-Chef Academy.

About the EHL Group

The EHL Group is the world reference in education, innovation and consulting for the hospitality and services sector.
With expertise dating back to 1893, the EHL Group now offers a wide range of leading educational programs, from apprenticeships to masters, vocational training and executive education, on three campuses in Switzerland and in Singapore. The EHL Group also offers consulting and certification services to companies and learning centers around the world. True to its values ​​and committed to building a sustainable world, the EHL Group’s goal is to provide education, services and work environments that are human-centered and open to the world. www.ehlgroup.com

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