Chef Philippe Ruiz rolls out the red carpet for you
e-Toile: Philippe Ruiz, you are known as one of the great chefs in Florida, can you tell us more about yourself?
Philippe Ruiz: Being born in Geneva, I started on the French-Swiss border.
After training as a classical French chef, I had the opportunity to work quickly in very beautiful settings such as the Château de Divonne in Ain or La Clef des Champs, and then at the Beau-Rivage in Switzerland.
I also had the opportunity to work with the Chef Bouillou whose kitchen is a double star in the Michelin Guide.
After this, I chose to settle under the Caribbean sun, I headed towards St Barth first, then St Martin. In the Caribbean, many hotels and restaurants close their doors during August and September. After the sensitive period of the hurricane season, in October, we then had to reinvent everything, a new menu with a new staff which keeps the pace of work very active.
During this period, I was recruited as Deputy Chief Executive in the luxury hotel La Samanna. I worked with Michel Chiche who is now also working in Florida.
It has been twelve years since I have been in charge of the prestigious Palme d’Or restaurant.
e-Toile: What is the Palme d’Or in Miami?
Philippe Ruiz: It is interesting to note that the reputation of the Palme d’Or has contributed to the already prestigious one of the Biltmore Hotel.
La Palme d’Or has been a focal point by participating in the Tour of Chefs and this for several years, an event where more than fifty chefs will meet for several days...
I was very proud to be at my table alongside the best French chefs.
Although this tradition is no longer occurring, the Palme d’Or is the host of various events.
In 2010, for the State of Florida, the Zagat Survey has awarded us with three of the most prestigious awards at the institution: Best service, Best Production Design and Best dish.
To achieve and maintain this momentum, I always purchase the best products.
All the fish come from Spain or Portugal, meat above the United States, butter from France.
Menus are designed and trained to communicate quality and affordable prices. The service is also particularly excellent. We offer meals, home made breads, appetizers as well as sweets.
e-Toile: In 2010, UNESCO listed the French cuisine intangible cultural patrimony, what does this mean for a French chef working abroad?
Philippe Ruiz: This is a true recognition. La Palme d’Or’s guests are familiar with France; they love to travel. As connoisseurs, they come for tastes and flavors found in the French regions and the wines that accompany them.
Being abroad, I am particularly sensitive to these forms of recognition. The day I received the medal of Agricultural Merit, I also had this perception of having a strong role to represent France.
My French gastronomy marries both classic and modern cuisine. I work a lot on the sauces, the alliance of flavors and textures.
My menus are marriages that also open the door to the world "bouquets". Thus, in particular special, I play with other processes and offer items such as Oriental-marinated tuna.
While in St. Barth, I also used many different spices up to 120!
e-Toile: You will participate in French Spice as part of French Week to be held in November, what is the menu you’ve created on this occasion?
Philippe Ruiz: I opted for a three-course dinner where the guests can enjoy fine food. From the entree, several options with a Lobster Bisque and saffron cream cappuccino, the alternative being a duck liver mousse with port. The second course allows you to discover and rediscover the classics of French cuisine with dishes such as Lemon Sole filet braised in riesling with leek confit or roasted lamb tenderloin served with ratatouille Provencal.
Obviously, do not leave without having opted for either infusion of red fruits and basil lime sorbet or chocolate mousse and puffed rice, again the play of textures and marriage flavors are emphasized in every dish.
To learn more about French Spice, visit http://www.frenchspicemiami.com/
For information on events taking place during the entire month of November during the 2011 French Week, click here http://www.frenchweekmiami.org/