France to Ipoh: Michelin-starred Philippe Geneletti

Ipoh Echo had an exclusive one-on-one with Michelin-starred Philippe Geneletti who was at Garvy’s French Fine Dining in Ipoh in conjunction with the 3rd Good France gastronomy celebration.

From March 20 to 29, Philippe crafted a 5-course menu at Garvy’s that best represented France incorporating his creative touches. There were the amuse bouche of scrambled egg, ‘escargot profiteroles with garlic cream and parsley coulis’, ‘5 spices pan seared foie gras escalope’, ‘home smoked salmon served with salted egg hollandaise’, ‘pan seared lamb rack paired with butter squash’ and ‘chocolate and dulce de leche’.

“These are traditional dishes with modernised touches. I got the ideas from discussion with the local chefs who would then tell me about nice ingredients available here. Sometimes, my travels inspire me. Plus, I like to try out new ideas,” Philippe told Ipoh Echo.

Regarding his food philosophy, the innovative cooking leader explained: “When I visit a different country like this, I always integrate some of the local ingredients and modernise the dish. For example, for the dessert, I use the kaya (coconut jam).”

Born in the French Alps and living near Paris now, Philippe obtained his first Michelin star in 2009, becoming one of the youngest starred chefs in France. Having a career that began in 1992, he started as an apprentice at Disneyland Paris.

“I’ve been in this field for 25 years now and every position I’ve held is a good experience because I am working with different people. When I see the happy faces of the guests, it just motivates me,” he shared.

Philippe, the youngest in the family with three sisters and two brothers, also said, “I always enjoy watching my Mum cook daily. Thus, my passion in cooking started when I was 15.”

“I’ll be back here every three months, for two weeks each time, with new menu and concept. Sometimes, I will also bring along another Michelin-starred chef for exhibitions, collaborations etc.,” Philippe added, citing foie gras as his favourite ingredient.

He has a book to his name entitled, ‘Fou de cuisine un peu fêlé des éprouvettes’ which translates in English to ‘Kitchen crazy a little cracked specimen’. “I think Ipoh has the potential but most of the people have little knowledge of French dining. I think we just need to keep up the good work and good communication,” he noted.

“The secret for good food is good ingredients,” the amiable chef revealed.

Ipoh Echo also spoke to Dato’ Beh Chun Chuan, founder and chairman of BP Healthcare, on the latest updates of the French fine dining restaurant which was a brainchild of his youngest son, Garvy.

“The response so far at Garvy’s towards Chef Philippe is overwhelming. It was full house for the whole period and diners from everywhere are coming to Ipoh!” he highlighted.

Regarding the reasons for bringing in Chef Philippe to Garvy’s, he stated, “First of all, it is so as not to disappoint the French Government and the world best rated Chef Alain Ducasse for the global “Good Taste” for selecting Garvy’s French Fine Dining.” Chef Alain is one of the initiators of the Good France project.

“We also want to surprise our customers and ensure satisfaction as we priced it very affordably at RM188 or £34 for a 5-course meal. It is a great deal at this price and tremendous quality,” he added.

In June, Garvy’s will be organising the “4 Hands Star Chef”, a 10-day dining event featuring two chefs with Michelin Stars, a first in Malaysia! For more information, call 05 255 8082. The restaurant is located at 275, Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun (Kampar Rd), 30250 Ipoh.

Mei Kuan

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