Atsushi Tanaka, head chef at Restaurant A.T. (Paris, France)

Atsushi Tanaka. Photo: Courtesy of Atsushi Tanaka.

Atsushi Tanaka is Japanese, but his cuisine could hardly be called Japanese. His restaurant is located in the heart of Paris, but it is not very French, even if one of Atsushi’s most valuable experiences was probably his work with the legendary Pierre Gagnaire, who today calls the young chef “Picasso of the kitchen”.

Atsushi is a very curious man and a great perfectionist. So he gathered experiences and enriched his culinary language through working with some of the best chefs in Europe before opening his own restaurant in March 2014. After his work with Pierre Gagnaire he worked with Quique Dacosta  at Alicante, at Pastorale in Antwerpen, with Sergio Herman at Sluis, and did stages at the top-Scandinavian restaurants such as Geranium in Copenhagen, and Frantzén and Oaxen Krog, both in Stockholm.

Atsushi’s cuisine is dynamic, artistic and progressive. It’s impossible to describe it with one world. Probably because it unites so many different influences incorporated in a person who is developing and reinventing himself daily. So the best would be to say that Atsushi’s cuisine is simply exciting, delicious and stunningly beautiful. It is not strange that his restaurant is often listed as one of the most exciting restaurants of 2015.

What does chocolate mean for you?

I always loved the complexity of the chocolate flavours. In chocolate you can feel terroir, just like with wine. It is fascinating and always changing.

Why have you chosen this dish? What is in your opinion so special about it?

I enjoyed working on this dish because it’s nicely playful. I like the contrast between the flavours and temperatures – between the hot and cold.

What has inspired you to create it? How was it born?

I reinterpreted classic combination of chocolate and lavender while introducing a new technique into it. All together was finalized by mixing various textures of chocolate. I was inspired also by the form of the plate. I made the round plate by cutting the square plastic.

Does it require any special technique?

Aired chocolate, nitro, classic.

What was the special challenge with it?

I wanted to create a dessert with a delicious classic taste by using modern technique and by giving it a nice contemporary look.

Which chocolate did you use and why?

I have used Cacao Barry Inaya from the Purity from nature range and Cacao Barry Zéphyr white chocolate. Both taste very nicely, they are easy to work with and very good value.

Please describe your dish – tell us please about the flavors, temperatures and textures that describe this dessert.

It consists out of a chocolate crumble, chocolate financier, white chocolate parsley cake, milk crumble powder, lavender cream, lavender granite, lavender ice-cream, pansy flower. So we have different textures and temperatures.

Any final message for our readers?

Try my restaurant A.T  and our tasting menu “cuisine sale, sucré”.

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