Paul Pairet, the renowned French chef born on June 29, 1964, in Perpignan, is a culinary personality of great acclaim.
He has gained international recognition for his innovative approach to cuisine. After honing his expertise in various kitchens around the world, he practiced his craft in France before relocating to China.
One of his notable achievements is his ultramodern restaurant in Shanghai, UltraViolet, where he offers a unique gastronomic experience that blends technology, music, and cuisine to create unforgettable meals. Paul Pairet is considered a pioneer of immersive gastronomy.
In addition to his culinary accomplishments, Paul Pairet has served as a member of the renowned jury for the M6 group’s culinary show « Top Chef » since 2021.
His culinary talents and creativity have been rewarded with numerous Michelin stars and international accolades, establishing him as an iconic figure in contemporary cuisine. His commitment to innovation continues to inspire the next generation of chefs while delighting palates around the world with his avant-garde culinary creations.
You are part of the jury of the 15th edition of «Top Chef,» a program broadcast on M6. How has this changed your daily life?
Although I joined the jury of the 15th season of «Top Chef» on M6, my daily life has not undergone major upheavals, being primarily based in Shanghai. With infrequent filming in France, I haven’t felt a significant impact of the show on my daily life. However, I have occasionally been recognized during my shopping, which can be a little bothersome, but it’s not like I’m a Beatles, a ubiquitous celebrity. (laughs)
How has your experience on the «Top Chef» show on M6 influenced your career and/or your approach to cooking?
My participation in «Top Chef» hasn’t altered my culinary approach, but it has bolstered my reputation in France, potentially facilitating the opening of my restaurant. Additionally, it may have opened further opportunities in the French culinary scene.
Can you tell us about your professional journey as a chef and the key moments that have led you to where you are today?
My unconventional professional journey, initiated with a background in science, evolved through diverse experiences in various kitchens worldwide, ultimately culminating in the realization of my dream with Ultraviolet in Shanghai.
What culinary influences have shaped your unique style of cuisine in your restaurants?
My cooking style is the result of my curiosity, my passion for gastronomy, and my travels. My influences are mainly linked to the places where I have lived and the chefs who have left a mark on me, notably Jacques Maximin, Joël Robuchon, Michel Trama, and Alain Ducasse, each bringing their unique style.
What do you consider to be the essential winter recipe?
Pot-au-feu embodies for me the quintessence of winter cuisine, evoking comforting memories of shared moments with family around this emblematic dish. It is a timeless classic that transcends cultural boundaries.
Can you talk about a dish or a particularly memorable culinary experience that you have created during your career?
Rather than highlighting a specific dish, I prefer to evoke the opening of Ultraviolet as a defining event in my career, representing a pinnacle in my professional and personal journey.
What advice would you give to young aspiring chefs who want to follow in your footsteps and succeed in the restaurant industry?
My advice to young chefs is to forge an authentic path based on passion, determination, and curiosity, steering clear of conforming to existing models. Innovation and originality are key to success in the culinary world.
What are your future projects to continue innovating in the world of gastronomy?
My upcoming projects include the opening of «Roudoudou», a multifunctional «Deli» style establishment, along with various ongoing restaurant initiatives, thus continuing my ongoing commitment to the culinary world with Ultraviolet.
What could you wish for the readers of LiFE magazine?
Ah, this one is almost too easy, let’s keep it simple for once! (Laughs) Life is short and beautiful, have a good one!