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Design & Fashion

How to build a plate

We are great lovers of gastronomy and fine dining and we were curious to find out how these chefs who we admire so much go about building a dish from scratch. The right combination of flavours and textures is an art form on its own just as much as the look of the final dish on the plate. Who better to answer this question that our very own chef Eric Gonzalez?

Eric was born in the south of France. After studying at the Nice school of hotel management and his professional experience in some of southern France’s most reputable establishments, including that of Bernard Loiseau, Eric gets his first Michelin star at the young age of 27 while at the helm of the Clairefontaine restaurant in Luxembourg. Eric lands in Montreal in 2000 where he works in some of the city’s best kitchens including that of Le Lutetia, at Hôtel de la Montagne and Cube at Hôtel St. Paul. He finally settles at Auberge Saint-Gabriel in January 2010, where he imbues the kitchen and the dining room with passion and creativity every day for our greatest pleasure.

Here’s his answer to our question.

“A dish is constructed according to several criteria. The “sense of place” is very important so that the dish is in harmony with its surroundings. For example, the dishes served at Auberge Saint Gabriel and Bota Bota will be very distinct because the two places are unique and very different from one another. You can also build a dish around a particular product, for example.

Secondly comes the interpretation of the emotion you want to convey through the dish. Textures, freshness, balance and surprise come into play to create a certain harmony, which, once reached, makes the dish a unique piece.

Finally comes the design of the dish on the plate. It is certainly true that a dish must first and foremost taste good, but it also has to look nice. Each dish should awaken many of our senses: the sense of smell, sight and taste. The application of the three-E rule is essential in my book: emotion, balance and elegance.”

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