French-born two Michelin star chef, Akrame Benallal showcases the taste of his childhood memories in Algeria, alongside his professional experience in France. His cuisine at restaurant Akrame, Paris revolves around the day-to-day seasonal and local produce at hand. Guests choose from three menus: “menu amis du midi” (friends’ midday menu, including three dishes), “menu du Coeur” (menu from the heart, including four dishes), or “menu gourmand” (greedy menu, including six dishes).
At fourteen, Chef Benallal dedicated himself to his profession, travelling 25 kilometres to his culinary apprenticeship. Considering his gusto and determination, it’s unsurprising that Akrame has worked in some of the best kitchens in the world and with some of the best chefs, including Pierre Gagnaire and Ferran Adria at El Bulli.
Akrame’s philosophy is that “cooking is like life, we evolve, and we don’t reinvent the wheel. My menus change each and everyday, according to mood and inspiration. I am not following current trends, only intuition guides my taste. What I respect the most from my predecessors is their perennity.”
Having opened his Paris-based restaurant in 2011 to such acclaim, Benallal went on to open his Hong Kong-based restaurant only two years later. Marrying unexpected flavours with traditional techniques, Akrame’s personal cuisine is one of the utmost demonstrations of culinary finesse, earning him awards and acclaim throughout the world.
HERE ARE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM HIS APPEARANCE AT THE CHEF’S CLUB IN NEW YORK.
photos by Battman except where noted.