Chef Christian Le Squer
Crédit Photo : Stephane de Bourgies

Christian Le Squer, a 5.0 Chef

Le Cinq… A number and a letter at the same time, symbol of the history of France and the history of men. Just like Christian Le Squer, who, with his own history and passion, runs the restaurant Le Cinq, navigates new trends and brings his cuisine to a safe harbour. I met this discreet chef, with a thousand resources, who took me behind the scenes of Le Cinq on a journey to the heart of plant-based flavours.

Yes, because it is plant-based gastronomy that we talked about.

For Christian Le Squer, plant-based diet is a different way of living and eating. It is a new trend, interesting to observe and like him, many Chefs are curious about these current movements.

Giving emotion

For the Chef, a cook must be able to handle all products. It is a profession where one is constantly learning and which requires adaptation.

Only here, the Chefs get a bit lost. A cook is above all a man who likes to give pleasure to the palate, feeling and emotion, but he can’t know everything.

From there, questions emerge: should Chefs work exclusively on mono-products to please some, or should they work with all the products to please everyone?

Because it is true that at Le Cinq restaurant, special attention is paid to each client. Everyone must find something to their liking and the Chef adapts by offering tailor-made dishes according to requests. We always have to be on the move to match the seasons and offer new collections. So in this frenetic pace, at the heart of a well-established machine, without any particular knowledge or training in plant-based cuisine, it is not easy for a Chef to integrate 100% plant-based food.

Take inspiration from nature and people

At Le Cinq, the Research & Development department is nevertheless working on flavours. With the partnership of food engineers, the Chef is testing new culinary trends, such as sea lettuce water, onion compote with alginate, herb coulis and gelatine, or alginate bath. 

The Chef also finds his inspiration in the field, in the hearts of people. His numerous travels allow him to leave what he already knows, to seek the unknown and to acculturate himself.

And then there is the web. Christian Le Squer is very present on social networks, like his Facebook page, his Twitter account and Instagram. He publishes, he likes, he comments. He willingly dives into web 2.0 to share his recipes and draw inspiration.

Rediscovering the taste

But for Christian Le Squer, the new way of eating will involve sustainable development. He likes to understand how the world is evolving, he wonders how we will be able to feed people in the future and where we will find good products. He invites us to wonder about food (re)education or how to (re)learn to eat, in schools, in homes… how to make food taste good again, to avoid throwing it away… This requires questioning our ways of doing things, to rethink craftsmanship, and perhaps even to develop a new form of agriculture.

The Chef also leads many initiatives with French start-ups and small chains aware of sustainable development, to promote healthy and quality products. And he pays particular attention to healthy cooking, to the quality and origin of products that are minimally processed to keep all their flavour. This is why he highlights vegetables, cereals and seeds which have become stars in their own right.

So, in everything he already does around plants, he wonders … Could he put plant-based products on the menu? Would there be enough customers to consume them? How do you find the people who are able to process the products? Are plants the future of gastronomy?

It is up to us consumers to move the lines. After all, the consumer is king. They are the ones who decide. And they are slowly changing the trend themselves. Each dish should create an emotion, bring a feeling and tell a story. It is up to us to make plants part of our history and to tell it with our own emotions. This is how we will give elegance to this new way of eating.

When I left this place, I was leaving a ship. As the seasons change, the Five adapts to the movements. The Captain remains attentive to what is in front of him, and the passengers of the ship must be able to take pleasure in their gustatory journey.

Le Cinq inspires me. In my eyes, I see the V for Vegetal and the 5 for digital. I see it as a sign of the progress of gastronomy in the wake of new technologies. They say the web 5.0 will be the emotional web. I met a Chef with a modern palate, connected to the world, connected to people. A Chef who integrates plants as much as possible and who listens to trends in the field and on social networks, and who beyond refinement, wants to convey emotion. A Chef 5.0.

Translated by Malvika Kathpal

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