CANNES: When I meet Christian Sinicropi in Cannes at his restaurant, the Palme d’Or at Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez, we talk mostly about art, colours and textures. That is how he sees his 2-star Michelin cuisine. This time of the year he is in the middle of a busy summer and known for his annual creations of a special menu for the Jury of the Cannes Festival du Film. He is always looking to surprise his clients with something different.
IRMA: How does art and cooking go together for you?
CHRISTIAN SINICROPI: For both you need a creative mind and manual skills and, if you want to be really good at it, a lot of discipline.
IRMA: How can I imagine the dinner for the Jury of the Festival du Film which you host every year in May?
C.S.: The dinner is created always in honour of the president of the jury who is always a producer, like for example Steven Spielberg, Robert de Niro or Tim Burton. I do a lot of research about the producer’s vision, his concept of film and of course I will try to take elements from there to influence the menu I create. It is needless to say that we only work with regional and seasonal produce.
IRMA: Your wive is a ceramic artist, you both studied at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Vallaurice. How does she come into the creative process of this menu/evening?
C.S.: Once I have come up with a menu, I do a lot of sketches on how I would imagine the plates my food will be served on. My wife is very technical so she is responsible for the realization of the final pottery which has to transport my idea of the food and also incorporates a perfect stage for the entire menu.
At the Palme d’Or we take the idea of the stage or entertainment further onto the table, that is the fun and at the same time the discipline behind our work.
IRMA: That sounds very much like fun.
C.S.: That is how I see it. Food is one very important essence of pleasure for body and mind.
IRMA: And you like to surround yourself also with different artists of different mediums?
C.S.: Yes, that is why I like to show also the artist’s work not only on the plate but also in my restaurant. We have a sculpture by Steph Cop and paintings by Shaka and Gilbert Gruss, for example, and we like to think of taking entertainment even further at Palme D’Or, for example with our special menu events.
IRMA: Which ones are yet to come this summer and autumn?
C.S.: On the 18th of September we will cook a special menu which will be accompanied by different French wines from different regions — “Les Grands Vins de France special dinner”.
On the 16th of October we have the CHATEAU PALMER MARGAUX, which is a vineyard owned by two families in Bordeaux and will cater the best wines from the region.
On the 6th of November you should try the VEGA SICILIA – Espagne and on the 28th of November I am cooking together with the chef Eric Pras (3 stars).
Well, we are celebrating 30 years of Palme d’Or after it was created by Christian Willer who started this unique place in 1985.
IRMA: And for some lucky ones the table in your kitchen is the place to be, especially during the Festival du Film…
C.S.: Yes, some friends or famous actors like to enjoy my food in tranquility, away from being recognized or just being close to the process of cooking, the steam, the sometimes very hectic atmosphere and the smella and energy of my kitchen.
IRMA: Yes, I can imagine, this sounds like fun. The Haute Couture Shows have started on Sunday. What comes to your mind when you think of Haute Couture?
C.S.: It is the same as with cooking. When you create something you have to know your tools, your craftsmanship and have the extra portion of creativity which puts all these elements together so at the end you have something that you can call style. Of course it should come with a certain effortlessness.
IRMA: Thank you, Christian
La Palme d’Or
Hotel Martinez, 73 Boulevard de la Croisette, 06400 Cannes