Have you ever heard of the term bistronomy? Basically, it is about enjoying quality ingredients, top class cooking, all in an endearing ambiance. Seems broad, right? However, it is the primal form of what is considered fine-dining today.
The Birth of a New Culinary Art
In 1992, Yves Camdeborde was a promising young chef, honing his skills in the kitchens of the luxurious Hôtel de Crillon under the attentive eye of head chef Christian Constant. However, Camdeborde, a true lover of fine cuisine, grew tired of the sober atmosphere and extortionate bills of these high-end restaurants. So he opened La Régalade in the 14th arrondissement, just meters away from the roar of Paris’ ‘périphérique’. On the menu you’ll find terrines, fried eggs and other traditional French recipes, all revamped with the technique and discipline of gourmet cuisine, and using the best seasonal produce.
Derided as old fashioned, La Régalade was rejected by food critics. But Camdeborde gradually gained the success he deserved by serving the best gastronomy at affordable prices, building the bridge between popular and haute-cuisine. Now both regulars and celebrities are embracing this honest food movement. Although the ingredients are less extravagant, there’s certainly nothing lacking in taste or flavor.
The success was huge and the trend has firmly established its place – maybe even the top spot – on the culinary scene. Today, ‘le Fooding’ actually struggles to count all the bistronomic restaurants in Paris!
Over the years, like so many hybrid words, the term now encompasses a load of ideas… All the best chefs are at it, from Joël Robuchon to Guy Savoy, who have complemented their Michelin star establishments with some more casual eateries.
And a new generation of chefs are joining this culinary wave, with smaller rooms, fewer staff, great ingredients, outstanding cooking, and warm atmosphere, for no more than 30 or 40 euros. Bistronomy is about simplicity and not about the Michelin Guide (at least when it comes to presentation). Yet still these restaurants are making international rankings. For example, the king of neo-bistronomy (bistronomy that is slightly more advanced and expensive) Iñaki Aizpitarte, and his restaurant Chateaubriand, came 9th in the 2011 World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In time, more and more others take after this trend and make it what seems to be the norm today.
This direction is also happens to be where 88 Lounge is heading to. We hope to bring the essence of this beautiful culinary art to the heart of Vietnam, an Asian country with completely different culture.