When it comes to Michelin-starred chefs, no conversation would be complete without mentioning the famous Chef Guy Savoy. Throughout his career, he has built a great reputation for himself, preparing sumptuous recipes, rave reviews, receiving many awards and opening many restaurants. However, the famous chef did not achieve this fame overnight. Guy Savoy has worked hard from a young age to pursue his culinary passions and become one of the best-known names in the fine dining world. Let’s take a closer look at his life, career, restaurants and the many awards that helped build his legacy, in this special interview world star chef Guy Savoy made with us for FoodinLife Magazine.
Guy Savoy was introduced to the restaurant world at a young age. He grew up in a small town in the Savoie region of France. His mother ran a small local cafe there. Savoy believes it was her mother who inspired her to use seasonal ingredients in her cooking. Born on July 24, 1953 in Nevers, France, the chef insists that cooking is not just about technique and precision. Instead, she says, the most important thing is to bring out your own heart, your own tenderness, and everything that makes you unique in every meal. He argues that not all chefs are the same and that “their aspirations and opinions are related to their own sensibilities.”
The positive effect of his mother’s cooking on Guy Savoy
In 1955 the Savoy family moved to Bourgoin-Jalliue, where his father worked as a gardener and his mother owned a tavern that was later converted into a restaurant. She thanks him for helping her find her way to chiefdom. Guy Savoy has spoken frequently about his relationship with his mother and the influence her mother had on him and his career: “I consider myself lucky to have a mother who cooks very, very well and very quickly,” he said. “I am impressed with the pleasure of eating. When we were young, we had no other means of comparison other than our mother’s food. In fact, I quickly realized that the food she made was delicious and gave me great pleasure in eating. I had a basis of comparison while I was having lunch at my schoolmates’ house, and that’s when I realized I was really lucky because my mom’s food was so much better than other moms.”
“This inspiration is taken directly from the life I lived as a child. My father was a gardener and my mother was a cook; I was between the two of them. The youngest was lucky enough to grow with freshly picked fruit and vegetables from the garden. The brought radishes were in the ground half an hour before they were moved to the table; had green beans for lunch, freshly picked that morning… Those experiences, since childhood, I’ve formed my own tastes as an adult and what I call my ‘papillothèque’ – my own personal memory taste bank.”
At the age of 23, the chef apprenticed at Maison Troisgros, the legendary restaurant of the legendary Troisgros brothers in Roanne. He says his time there is a great lesson in the importance of working as a team. Chef Savoy went on to experience collectively in a number of respectable kitchens before settling in, in 1977. At that time, he replaced Chief Bernard Loiseau at La Barriere de Clichy in Paris. Just three years later, in 1980, he opened his first restaurant, called Restaurant Guy Savoy. He was in New York.
An impressive career
The chef has had a pretty impressive career spanning decades. After completing his three-year apprenticeship with the Troisgros brothers and opening his first restaurant, Savoy opened another restaurant on Rue Duret, Paris. It was awarded two Michelin Stars in 1985. Of course, he continued to expand his culinary empire in the following years. From 2017 to 2020, La Liste named one of its restaurants, located at 11 quai de Conti, the World’s Best Restaurant.
Savoy’s influence on the culinary world has been extensive, and he is widely regarded as Gordon Ramsay’s culinary advisor. The celebrity chef trained under the Savoy while earning his own stripes in the kitchen. In addition, Chief Savoy recorded the voice of assistant chief Horst in the French translation of the popular Pixar movie Ratatouille, which was released in August 2007. Savoy has become a living legend in the culinary world and has therefore appeared on many judging panels. He served as a member of the Prix Versailles World Ground Jury in 2017 and 2018. He is currently on the Board of the French Food Culture and Heritage Mission.
During his impressive career at Guy Savoy Restaurants, the celebrity chef has opened a total of five restaurants, two of which are flagships with the same namesake: his son, Franck Savoy, has followed in his father’s footsteps and has also proven himself as a culinary industry veteran. He spent time working with his father in a few of these establishments.
Awards and accolades
Of course, a chef of the same caliber as Guy Savoy has earned a number of accolades in the culinary industry. In 2004 and 2005, his restaurants were named one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant Magazine. He was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 2008. His Las Vegas-based restaurant has received two Michelin Stars, as well as the AAA Five-Diamond Award, Forbes Five-Star Award, and the Wine Spectator Grand Award.
Savoy was awarded the French Influence Award for Gastronomy in 2018, and in 2020 La Liste named the Paris restaurant the World’s Best Restaurant for the fourth time in a row. The restaurant has so far been awarded five Gault & Millau hats and three Pudlowski Guide plates and remains among the city’s best restaurants in The Lebey Guide.
Food is the main ingredient in the recipe for life
“It often emerged from the memory of a childhood meal or the fondly remembered joy of tasting a meal. As I have shown in Siècles, my collection of books titled ‘Guy Savoy cuisine Les Ecrivains des XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIXème’, which I currently own. It sums it up perfectly in a single sentence that has become my motto, and what guests see illuminated on the wall when they enter my restaurant: “Kitchen is the art of instantly transforming rich historical products into pleasure.” In fact, ‘resilience’ has always been an important preoccupation for cooks. It’s just a matter of choosing seasonal products. For example, no artificially heated greenhouses, no cooling, no long-distance transportation. Cooks and their suppliers, whether by land or sea, are in one and the same harmony. Nature; it goes without saying that these two disciplines, the environment. There will be more exceptional places to eat in the world… The future is bright!”
Sommeliers and winemakers
“Not long ago, my wine expert colleague and I tried a pairing “Hare à la Royale” and Sauternes, we were astounded by the result; even if they are surprised at first after offering it, it is important for us to be together to our equally seduced guests.’ The pairing of food and wine is inscribed in the DNA of French gastronomy. There is a shared curiosity and a certain collaborative spirit among the cooks.”
“Finally, the patisserie at Caesar’s Palace is a small boutique for “BRIOCHE”. It serves pastries and sandwiches on its own and just to accompany a coffee.”