Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Joël Robuchon
Hometown: Poitiers, France
Residence: Paris, France
Facebook: Joel Robuchon – page officielle-
YouTube: Bon Appétit Bien Sûr
Short bio: Robuchon was awarded in 1976 Meilleur Ouvrier de France, then in 1987 Chef de Lannee, then in 1990 Cuisinier du Siècle. As of today, he is the most starred chef in the world.
At the age of 29, he took over the commands of the kitchen of the Concorde Lafayette hotel and managed 90 cooks, serving several thousands meals per day. His professionalism, his rigor, his assurance, and his creativity gave him a beautiful reputation. After a remarkable passage as an Executive Chef and as a Food and Beverage manager of the hotel Nikko where he gained two Michelin stars, he then opened his restaurant in December 1981: Jamin. The first year he received his first Michelin star, the following year, the second one and the year after, the third. Three years, three stars, a feat never seen before in gastronomy!
For over ten years, his restaurant achieved remarkable success. In 1994, he settled down Avenue Raymond Poincaré, in a restaurant bearing his name. The Joël Robuchon restaurant was awarded Best Restaurant in the World in 1994 by the International Herald Tribune. A worldwide success was already taking place.
As promised, Joël Robuchon, 50-years old, announced his retirement, to focus on handing over his knowledge. For over 10 years, with the most famous Bon Appetit Bien Sûr TV show, Joël Robuchon proposed, with Guy Job, a daily rendezvous, a real cuisine lesson, where he greets a fellow chef every week, presents simple and affordable recipes, tips and tricks, thus making it accessible to a broader public. Since September 2011, Joël Robuchon has hosted a new TV show Planète Gourmande, produced and directed by Guy Job, in which he gives to the audience his tips and most delightful recipes.
During all these years, Joel Robuchon travelled the world and regularly went to Japan to discover new products, skillfully passed on techniques by the chefs for decades and became passionate about the empire of the rising sun. His Japanese experience and his discovery of tapas bars in Spain gave him the inspiration to offer a new dynamics to his vision of cooking. He elaborated a new original concept of restaurant to bring his “cuisine” in front of the guests, a “cuisine” of quality products offered in a spirit of conviviality. The concept of l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was born!
In 2003, the first l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon opened its doors in Paris, in the 7th Arrondissement, and simultaneously in Tokyo thus disrupting the traditions of la haute gastronomie. This place is unique, warm-hearted, opened on the kitchens stoves, where customers immediately feel at ease, far away from classic restaurants. The first customers are delighted to discover this innovative concept, where gastronomy rhymes with conviviality. This opening makes an echo in the French and foreign press who greet the return of this great French chef.
In each of his restaurants throughout the world, Joël Robuchon remains faithful to his principles which made him a guide of the French gastronomy; an exceptional choice of products and ease in execution thanks to his talent in choosing and training his team. In 2014, Joël Robuchon opened l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Bangkok. In 2016 a new l’Atelier de Joel Robuchon opened in Shanghai. At the end of 2016 l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Montreal will open followed by new restaurants in New-York, Miami and Geneva.
How often do you fly? Every week! Sometimes more, depending on where I am going and the time of year.
How many countries have you been to? I don’t know that I can count them all!
Favorite American city: New York City; I can’t think of anywhere else in the world that has as much emphasis on great food; Tokyo is up there, but New York really is a dream for restaurants.
Friendliest people in the world: Las Vegas—everyone here is always looking to have a good time; they don’t have the normal stress of life, of needing to go back to the office the next day, so everyone is so much more relaxed and open to having a good experience without being distracted by the pressures that they might face at home.
Favorite airline: Air France.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite airport lounge: La Premiere by Air France.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Masa in New York City is the best meal that I have had in a long time. The attention to detail and mastery that Chef Masa showed me there will remain with me for a long time.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: There is this little restaurant in Alicante in Spain that makes the best paella—extremely traditional—a great escape with friends and family.
Favorite food: You know, I eat very simply; tomatoes and avocados, simply seasoned with the correct type and amount of fleur de sel and pepper, can be a delicious meal. I think food is meant to be shared however, and the best food is shared with people you love.
Least favorite food: I don’t have a least favorite food; I think that everything can be made well if the correct appreciation is put into the preparation.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): (Chuckles) Well, I am slightly ashamed to say it, but Coke Zero—it is one of my small pleasures!
Favorite travel show(s): I don’t watch television when flying, prefer to rest.
Favorite travel book(s): When flying I usually sleep, so that I can arrive well rested in the location I am arriving and get right to the restaurant!
5things you bring on a plane: I am a big fan of technology, as I think a lot of people know about me; three of those things I bring on a plane would be three of my phones! Beyond that, I have work and a bottle of water.
What do you always seem to forget? Traveling has become second nature; I rarely forget anything. Depending on where I go, I have different luggage with the necessary goods; I also have a large amount of my necessities already stocked in each location that I go to, as I travel to each of my restaurants so often in the year.
What do you like least about travel? I have become quite accustomed to it; I enjoy traveling because I can pick the airlines and the times that fit my schedule, so that it is not a burden.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Can’t say that I’ve had anything embarrassing happen on a flight!
Worst travel moment: A consistent travel issue is when airports are not well-designed and the wait times for customs take so long; many airports have it figured out well, like London and New York, but Los Angeles has been bad many times.
What’s your dream destination? I loved Alicante so much that I bought a home there, so I could visit whenever I wanted.
Best travel tip: Drink a lot of water—you have to stay hydrated.