Chef Escoffier quits Saint Pierre

Mathieu Escoffier worked at several Michelin-starred establishments in France and the United States before coming to Singapore.
Mathieu Escoffier worked at several Michelin-starred establishments in France and the United States before coming to Singapore.PHOTO: ST FILE

Frenchman says he left as he has a different vision and plans to open his own restaurant here

Almost six months after joining French restaurant Saint Pierre at One Fullerton, executive chef Mathieu Escoffier has left.

In posts on his Facebook page and Instagram accounts, the 30-year-old wrote that he will open a restaurant in Singapore.

"After 10 years of incredible experiences and invaluable learnings from the best chefs around, it's now time to share my unique perspective, skills and knowledge with the world," says Escoffier, who included the hashtags #newyear, #newproject and #newchallenge in his posts, written in French.

Via Facebook messaging, the chef says that he is looking for a location and investors for the restaurant.

His last day of service at Saint Pierre was Dec 31 last year.

Asked why he left, he tells The Straits Times: "When you don't have the same vision about the food and wine, it's really hard to cooperate.

"I want to provide what I have learnt since I began, from the perfect quality of French food, to the perfect service of wine - at the right temperature and right price."

When contacted, Ms Edina Hong, 44, director of the Emmanuel Stroobant Group, which owns Saint Pierre, declined to comment.

Other brands here under the group include two-Michelin- starred Japanese restaurant Shoukouwa, as well as more casual restaurants such as Sque Rotisserie & Alehouse, Brussels Sprouts and Picotin Express.

Escoffier, who is not related to the famous chef, restaurateur and culinary writer Auguste Escoffier, has worked at Michelin-starred establishments including Maison Lameloise and Plaza Athenee in France, and Daniel in New York City.

Maison Lameloise and Plaza Athenee have three Michelin stars, while Daniel has two.

Before coming here, the Frenchman was executive sous chef at La Grand Maison in Bordeaux in 2015.

He was hired to head a young team at Saint Pierre, in the hope of boosting its chances of earning a Michelin star this year.

His family is in the restaurant business in France. For the past 20 years, his parents have run bistro Ma Cuisine - known for its extensive wine list - in his hometown of Beaune.

His older brother and uncle also run their own bistros in Bordeaux and Burgundy respectively.

His late maternal grandfather used to run the one-Michelin-starred restaurant L'ermitage Corton in Beaune.

Banking on his family's connections, Escoffier is already working with Burgundy winemakers to "provide the best wine at the best price" for Singapore diners.

He says: "I'm starting to draft all the details for the whole dining experience. The concept will be strong."

•Follow Eunice Quek on Twitter @STEuniceQ

•For more food stories, go to straitstimesfood.com


Correction note: The original version of this article said executive chef Mathieu Escoffier left almost a year after joining French restaurant Saint Pierre at One Fullerton. He actually left after six months. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2017, with the headline 'Chef Escoffier quits Saint Pierre'. Print Edition | Subscribe