How Yannick Alleno's Global Restaurants Fuse French And Local Cuisines

Yannick Alléno is a French chef who has a whopping 12 Michelin stars and runs several restaurants both in France and outside of his home country. One of those restaurants is called STAY, which is located in Seoul, South Korea, and has one Michelin star of its own. Notably, the restaurant is located on the 81st floor of Signiel Seoul Hotel, which certainly gives diners a jaw-dropping view of Seoul to enjoy while they feast on STAY's gourmet food. But when it comes to that gourmet food, how does Alléno fuse his own French cuisine with that of local South Korean cuisine?

In an interview with Michelin Guide, Alléno said, "I am delighted to use various local ingredients in my restaurants around the world." This technique has multiple benefits: it creates a fusion of flavors from different parts of the world to make a unique identity but it also helps the environment.

Alléno reveals the many benefits of using local ingredients

While speaking to Michelin Guide, Yannick Alléno elaborated on the importance of using local ingredients, rather than importing them from France. One major reason for this, which the average person may not have thought of, is that it's much healthier for the environment, which is only becoming more and more vital as climate change continues to have a noticeable impact on day-to-day life. Alléno said, "We can all agree that the current global environment is under threat. As chefs, we, too, have the responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint through environmentally friendly practices such as using eco-friendly products and using local ingredients.

Beyond the environmental reasoning, Alléno insists that there isn't really a valid reason to use only ingredients that have come in from France. The chef added, "Although I introduce modern French cuisine through my cooking techniques, it is these different local ingredients that give each restaurant a unique individuality."

With that mindset, Alléno then works closely with the head chefs at each of his restaurants — at STAY, those chefs are Thierry Le Queau and Choi Hae-Young. Explaining how they put together a new menu, Hae-Young told Michelin Guide that the head chefs visit local farms to explore ingredients, then utilize French cooking techniques to prepare the dishes. Hae-Young continued, "Finally, when chef Alléno visits Seoul every season, we taste new menus together and do some refinements before we finalize them. It is all about teamwork."