SINGAPORE - French chef Vianney Massot, the former head chef of the now-defunct two-Michelin-starred L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Resorts World Sentosa is taking over the kitchen reins at one-starred Bacchanalia in Hongkong Street.
Chef Massot, 27, is now Bacchanalia's executive chef. He takes over from Australian-born chef Luke Armstrong who headed the restaurant for two years, Bacchanalia's new owners, food and beverage and lifestyle group Ebb & Flow, announced at a press conference on Aug 8.
Ebb & Flow took over Bacchanalia in January this year. The group also runs Hou Hou, a fast-casual Asian fusion stall at PasarBella in Suntec City, and capsule hotel chain Atlantis Pods, with outlets in Little India and Bugis. It will be opening a 15,000 sq ft food and lifestyle space in Circular Road later this year.
Prior to joining Bacchanalia, chef Massot spent nine years working with the late culinary great Joel Robuchon, who died from cancer on Aug 6. Chef Massot moved to Singapore from the three-Michelin-starred fine-dining Robuchon Au Dome in Macau, where he was its second in command.
Robuchon had more than 30 Michelin stars to his name. His restaurants span the globe, from Paris to Tokyo to Las Vegas. His two restaurants here, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Joel Robuchon Restaurant, both located at Resorts World Sentosa, closed in June.
On Robuchon's death, chef Massot says: "It is sad and terrible news. He deserves the most respect and is the greatest teacher. I had the privilege of working by his side for four years in Paris, where I learnt about his vision of perfection, his techniques.
"He dedicated his life to the kitchen and it was a great learning process for me. He pushed me to be better and I would not be where I am today without his years of teaching. To the whole Robuchon family, he will always be 'Papa'."
Bacchanalia will close in early September for renovations and reopen later that month. Chef Massot's new menu will focus on seasonal produce from countries such as France and Japan. Diners can expect a more intimate space with about 25 seats.
He says: "When you work with Mr Robuchon for such a long time, his DNA becomes part of you. I will see how I can continue to keep his DNA and use it to create my own identity."
Chef Armstrong will continue to cook, serving a daily surprise (from $50 for lunch and from $168 for dinner) from now until Aug 26.