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Food as Art; Chef as Maestro

Culinary Legend Pierre Gagnaire in One-Day Engagement at InterContinental Bali Resort on Saturday, April 21, 2012

(4/13/2012) Bali InterContinental Resort Bali has regretfully announced that the special appearance of culinary legend Pierre Gagnaire in a one-day engagement at the Resort on Saturday, April 21, 2012 has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Resort regrets any inconvenience caused by this late development and is working to reschedule Chef Gagnaire's visit for later in 2012.

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Pierre Gagnaire’s culinary reputation is formidable. The winner of three Michelin stars in 1993 and with seven renowned restaurants in seven countries, he has been variously described as playful; unpredictable; an adventurer in taste, color, texture and ingredients; a conjurer; a master of suspense; a humorist and an enfant terrible.

Performing what the New York Times described as a “high-wire act,” Gagnaire’s at the age of 62 shows no sign of slowing down as he continues to defy the conventions of classic French cuisine serving as an early pioneer in the now widely accepted school of “food as art.”

A profession outside the kitchen was never really an option for Pierre Gagnaire. The son of a restaurateur born in St.-Étienne, he began work for his father as a pâtissier at the age of 14. A year later, at 15, he worked as a summer internship with the already legendary Paul Bocuse, about whom he says, “I was too impressed by him to ever work for him.”

Several jobs later he returned to run and eventually take over his Father’s restaurant that he ran for six years. Gagnaire described his first venture as a restaurateur as “a bad experience.”

In 1981, at the age of 31, he opened his bold and ambitious St.-Étienne Restaurant; winning three Michelin stars twelve years later in 1993. A gastronomic shrine by any standard, proved in the end to be a financial disaster, bankrupting the rising star on the international culinary stage.

Indefatigable, six months after his financial collapse, in 1996, he opened his eponymous restaurant at the Hotel Balzac in Paris. The public flocked to the restaurant, drawn to see the colorful phoenix rise from the ashes, dust off his plumage and resume his profession ascendancy.

Those who joined him of the ensuing flight were well rewarded. Hélène Samuel, owner of the Café Salle Pleyel, said: “He was very inspired, he was tortured, a seeker — and he never changed. Dining chez Gagnaire is to see inside an artist’s brain.”

Living by a self-professed code of "tourné vers demain mais soucieux d'hier" (“facing tomorrow but respectful of yesterday”),  Gangnaire’s iconoclastic debut onto the Paris restaurant scene earned him admirers and detractors in equal measure.

But with three Michelin stars twinkling next to his name, the 6-foot tall chef was entitled to thumb his nose or, perhaps, more colloquially, hoists his elbow in a defiant Bras d'honneur to those who disdained his approach to cuisine.

According to Hélène Samuel, Gagnaire “opened things up for a new generation, saying that you can be successful — and be yourself."

The food that emanates for Gagnaire’s kitchen is different. His is an intellectual and artistic approach to food that the chef says is “an intellectual game.”

Cost and price is secondary in the pursuit of art. The final bill at one of his restaurants can be “heart-stopping” but not unexpected from a man who was engaged to open a 72-seat restaurant costing US$7 million inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas. His food creations can be both surreal and inviting, characterized by daring forays into molecular gastronomy. Be warned: Gagnaire's meals are not for the blasé; demanding full attention for the work products said to overwhelm his diners via a “penchant of overwhelmingness.”

Pierre Gagnaire One-Day Only in Bali

The iconic and iconoclastic Pierre Gagnaire is coming to Bali for a one-day engagement at the InterContinental Bali Resort on Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gagnaire’s Bali appearance includes a master cooking class from 11:00 am until 2 pm comprising cooking lessons, lunch, a glass of wine, and a personalized embroidered apron keepsake of the day.

Price for the master cooking class is Rp. 680,000 ++ (US$91.50)

Later, starting from 7:00 pm, a privileged group of diners who have wisely booked a place for what promised to be a memorable 5-course menu prepared by Gagnaire and the expert culinary team of the InterContinental Bali Resort.

Cost of the 5-course menu served with paired wines is Rp. 1,380,000 ++ (US$186)

Places are strictly limited for both the master cooking program and the evening dinner making advance bookings essential.

Bookings and More Information

Telephone the InterContinental Bali Resort at ++62-(0)361-70188 extension #7555 or by [Email]  

[Book a Stay at the InterContinental Bali Resort]