TasTAFE Drysdale, a tertiary education college in northern Tasmania, decided to dream big when it looked for guest chefs to teach its students. It set its sights on none other than Alain Passard of L’Arpege in Paris. With three Michelin stars, the restaurant was ranked No.19 on the 2016 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (the 2017 list will be announced in Melbourne on 5 April). As for Passard, last year he topped Le Chef magazine’s list of the world’s 100 best chefs, elected by his two- and three-starred peers.
Reportedly attracted by Tasmania’s excellent produce, Passard has agreed to take part in the college’s Great Chefs Series, in which some of the world’s biggest culinary names produce degustation dinners to teach and inspire Tasmania’s next generation of chefs. Passard kicks off the series – which takes place from March to August – with his arrival in Tasmania this week.
Passard’s haute approach to vegetables is well documented. Fresh produce from his three gardens is delivered to L’Arpege daily just in time for lunch and is famously known to never see the inside of a cold room. No doubt Passard will take a similar approach to the Tasmanian produce he will use in the three degustation meals he’ll be cooking: a five-course lunch at Josef Chromy (one of Tasmania’s finest vineyards), a private dinner at Peacock and Jones, and his pièce de résistance, a 10-course degustation dinner held at the college this Saturday, 1 April.
Courses will include beetroot sushi with geranium flowers and black olive; celery risotto with Huon salmon caviar; and Passard’s famed “bouquet of roses” apple tart. All three dining experiences are open to the public – but you’ll need to get in quickly, as tickets are almost sold out.