Chef and Food Release

PAUL PAIRET

Born and trained in France, Chef Paul Pairet runs two restaurants of widely different natures in Shanghai. A popular French modern eatery Mr & Mrs Bund, and an avant-garde, 3 Michelin starred restaurant Ultraviolet.

Pairet first came of notice at Paris’s Cafe Mosaic, where the influences of his wandering career – by that point, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Jakarta – began to crystallize into a French-but-not-French style all his own.

Critics talked of Mosaic and of Alain Ducasse’s Spoon in equal terms.  In fact, Pairet’s cooking at Mosaic made such an impression on Ducasse that it was the master chef himself who subsequently plucked Pairet out and arranged his next move: Istanbul.  Pairet then took his talents to the Ritz-Carlton’s Cam, where he turned the hotel outfit into the city’s first cutting-edge restaurant. He was to repeat the task in Shanghai.

Pairet came to Shanghai in 2005 to open Jade on 36, the flagship restaurant of the Shangri-La group’s flagship hotel, the Pudong Shangri-La.  Under his guidance and in three years only, he staked out an international reputation for “his highly personal and completely original cuisine: often exaggerated, highly technical plays on texture, temperature, and preconceived expectations“.

Where he had formed the vocabulary – surprise, precision, wit, reduction – the years at Jade on 36 saw him develop these into a fluent, singular cuisine that spoke on many levels.  Pairet’s food started conversations, inspired articles and collected awards.  Jade on 36 became not another hotel restaurant, but a “beacon for sophisticated, avant-garde cuisine in Asia”, and a destination for many.

Cooking a cuisine designed, in part, to provoke and challenge, Pairet elicited ecstatic guest response from the moment Jade on 36 opened.  The sentiment that the restaurant’s food was both exceptionally unique and essentially delicious echoed in media.  His rejection of rigid culinary convention won over gourmands and went to scoop numerous honors and awards, while his cuisine was profiled internationally.

Recent years have seen Pairet circle the earth to present his unique vision at gatherings of the world’s culinary heavyweights. From San Sebastian’s Lo Mejor de la Gastronomia (The Best of Gastronomy) in 2007, Madrid Fusion in 2008 – where, at both, Pairet was the sole Asia-based chef invited to speak; the World Gourmet Summit 2008 in Singapore; the participation in 2009 in the most acknowledged and cosmopolitan “Guest Chef Concept” by Ikarus of Hanger-7 Salzburg; the Omnivore Food Festival in Pairs and Shanghai along the years; to Identità Golose Milan Congress in 2017, Pairet continues to share with no reservations his belief and study in food.

In April 2009 Pairet brought to Shanghai “Mr & Mrs Bund-Modern Eatery by Paul Pairet”.  This French Eatery perched on the historic Bund, more significantly, is a quite different expression of the chef’s passion.

The theme this time is simplicity and popularity, a democratic flourish that embraces French favorites and classics. Pairet has never been two things: 1. A stranger to simple, popular dishes, and 2. Easy to classify.  With Mr & Mrs Bund, Pairet has tailored a populist concept of sharing simple & well-executed dishes to both critical and popular success.  It is French, in the way Pairet himself is —born, traveled, globally stamped, and stubbornly perfectionist.

Within four months of opening, That’s Shanghai declared Mr & Mrs Bund the “Best French” restaurant in the city. Since then, it has gone on collecting a slew of awards and international accolades, including No. 43 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 and No. 28 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016.

This popular French eatery was a u-turn for the “Avant-Garde” chef – until Ultraviolet opened.
Conceived by Pairet since 1996 and supported by his long-time back-up VOL group, Ultraviolet is the first restaurant of its kind attempting to unite food with multi-sensorial technology in order to create a fully immersive dining experience.

Ultraviolet project was first presented to the world in 2010’s OFF5 French Omnivore Food Festival in Deauville. After 3 years of making, it has opened in May 2012, somewhere in Shanghai.

A single table of 10, a 20-course avant-garde set menu, 5 senses.  Supported by the multi sensorial technologies, each course is enhanced with its own taste-tailored atmosphere, including visual, audio and olfactory compositions.  Almost instantly, Ultraviolet wows Shanghai, and has been blessed with passionate reviews from the diners, trade and critics, and described as, simply, “the best dining experience ever”.

Since opening, Ultraviolet has caused quite a stir in the culinary world, including being ranked No. 3 & The Best in China of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015, and No. 24 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018.  It became the 2nd restaurant from Mainland China, right after Mr & Mrs Bund’s entry in 2013 that made into the list.
In the second edition of Michelin Guide Shanghai, revealed in September 2017, Ultraviolet received three Michelin stars.

Being recognized for his “talent, innovation and contribution to Asia’s restaurant industry”, Pairet received the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award by 2013 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.  He is the recipient of the 2016 Chefs’ Choice Award.  Voted for by fellow chefs on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Pairet earned the respect of his peers with his two hugely successful and influential restaurants. “Provocative and innovative, his creative flair, daring experimentation and inspired dishes continue to influence chefs around the world.”

Like his experimental and avant-garde project, Pairet could be “turbulent, unpredictable, unconventional” for some in the culinary world.  “In the end”, says Pairet, “It is the feeling, emotion that evoked by the dish that counts.”

THE FOOD

Whether using tinned sardines to produce sophisticated, avant-garde fine dining, or using sophisticated, avant-garde techniques to produce the simplest of French dishes, Paul Pairet is a culinary egalitarian.

He approaches cooking, ingredients, techniques, textures and flavors with an equal lack of prejudice and unbiased opinion without regard for national boundaries or ‘class’ devoid of context, and reputation.
Pairet calls this the “newborn eye”: tasting something as if it was being tasted for the first time, and perceiving without discrimination.

“A tinned sardine” is not a lesser sardine than a fresh one, but simply a different product.  He insists, that foie gras is not intrinsically more suited to fine dining than a piece of bread, or a truffle more interesting than the Coca Cola.

There is no “better” or “worse” when it comes to flavor, there is simply a universe of flavors, a palette of differences to paint with liberal doses of imagination.
“Above all flavors should taste divine, assertive, sending taste buds into raptures, and the mind traveling on a bite through countries or found memories.”

Aside flavors, Pairet plays with texture and smell, he tricks the eye, cracks jokes in dishes, challenges preconceived ideas, and expectations, makes you think for a second: Wonder how? Wonder why?

He designs and wraps dishes in eye-catching, conversation-stopping, plain beautiful presentations.
A single noodle, presented in a concentric circle, made of fresh cuttlefish.  A beef short rib, glistening on an over-sized bone.  A lemon tart appears as a whole edible lemon…

The former scientist student has a simple philosophy: “a dish is ready when there is nothing left to add or take away.  A dish could be: interesting, new, daring — perhaps shocking — beautiful, maybe comforting, even funny, but always good.”

At Ultraviolet, Pairet’s author’s cuisine is at its best: a 20-course meal lends to a blend of experimentation and comfort, of avant-garde and simplicity.

It is Avant-Garde, yes, but figurative Avant-Garde, not abstract: with flesh and bone!

WHAT OTHERS SAID

HIDDEN AWAY IN AN OLD SHANGHAI NEIGHBORHOOD IS ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD. (…) IT WAS A REVELATION FOR ALL SENSES, AND AN IMMERSIVE DINING ADVENTURE
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN, AUG 2016

PAUL PAIRET, L’ÉTOILE MONTANTE DE LA GASTRONOMIE À SHANGHAI. IL EST AUJOURD’HUI, AVEC DEUX RESTAURANTS – MR & MRS BUND ET ULTRAVIOLET – LE CHEF LE PLUS RESPECTÉ DE LA VILLE.
THE GOOD LIFE (FRANCE) 2016

CE CHEF FRANÇAIS A OUVERT À SHANGHAÏ UN RESTAURANT SINGULIER, ULTRAVIOLET, SANS ÉQUIVALENT SUR LA PLANÈTE GASTRONOMIQUE.
SÉBASTIEN FALLETTI, LE FIGARO, DEC 2016

IN SHANGHAI, A TABLE SERVING ONLY TEN GUESTS IS NOW THE CENTREPIECE OF ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY DINING EXPERIENCES ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET.
FOUR MAGAZINE, 2015

PAUL PAIRET BREAKS THE RULES, HAS FUN IN REINVENTING THE MEAL, UPDATE THE SOCIAL CONCEPT OF FOOD, AND KEEPS ON CLIMBING TO THE TOP OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE CHEFS OF HIS TIME.
ALICE BÉGUET, LE FIGARO (FRANCE), FEB 2012

WHEN ULTRAVIOLET FINALLY OPENED, IT WAS ONE OF THE VERY FEW RESTAURANTS IN THE HISTORY OF GASTRONOMY THAT TRULY MADE A DIFFERENCE  (…)  IT IS THE FIRST GESAMTKUNSTWERK IN MODERN GASTRONOMY.
FELIX HIRSCH, QLI, FEB 2014

ULTRAVIOLET IS CERTAINLY MUCH MORE THAN A RESTAURANT. THIS IS A UNIQUE TASTING GETAWAY MAGNIFIED BY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY. A MOMENT WHERE TIME STOPS. (…) THE ILLUMINATION FROM PAUL PAIRET IS, BY ITSELF ALONE, WORTH THE TRIP.
THIBAUT DANANCHER, LE POINT (FRANCE), OCT 2013

IT WAS THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE MEAL I HAVE EVER HAD, WITH WILDLY INVENTIVE DISHES THAT WERE NEVER INVENTIVE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF INVENTION.
CINDY CHUPACK, AFAR, DEC 2013

WITH SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SCENTS AND A SECRET LOCATION, CHEF PAUL PAIRET’S IMMERSIVE DINING EXPERIENCE COULD BE THE NEXT GREAT LEAP IN CULINARY EVOLUTION.
HOWIE KAHN, T OF THE NEW YORK TIMES, AUG 2013

PAIRET’S ULTRAVIOLET, AN INCREDIBLE PSYCHO-GUSTATIVE ODYSSEY (…) ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIMENTAL AND CHALLENGING, ONE OF THE MOST FUN AND ACCOMPLISHED.
CLAUDIO GRILLENZONI, IDENTITA GOLOSE (ITALY), JUN 2013

ULTRAVIOLET – OUTLANDISH, UNORTHODOX, “A CRAZY DREAM”, “A MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR” AND “A PLAY IN 22 EDIBLE ACTS” (…) THE MOST AVANT-GARDE RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD.
BRIAN JOHNSTON, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (AUSTRALIA), JUN 2013

ULTRAVIOLET FINALLY BREAKS THE RULES, REINVENTS THE RESTAURANT, NOT TO MENTION THE CUISINE. (…) THIS CRAZY WORK ON RHYTHM, IMAGE, SURPRISE, A COMPLETE REWRITE OF WHAT CAN BE THE HOSPITALITY, THE SERVICE, THE CUISINE OF THE 21ST CENTURY.
LUC DUBANCHET, OMNIVORE MAGAZINE (FRANCE), WINTER 2012

THE DISHES’ CONCEPTION IS FREQUENTLY PLAYFUL AND WITTY, THEIR PRESENTATION THEATRICAL IN THE EXTREME. (…) IT TAKES THE IDEA OF THE MULTI-SENSORY CONSUMPTION OF FOOD – BLURRING TASTE WITH EMOTION – TO AN UNPRECEDENTED AND INSPIRATIONAL LEVEL.
WILLIAM DREW, THE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS, NOV 2012

ULTRAVIOLET – AN ODYSSEY INTO THE PSYCHE OF PAUL PAIRET… IS AN OCD PERFECTIONIST WITH THE SOUL OF AN ARTIST.
MONICA LIAU, THAT’S SHANGHAI, JUN 2012

YOU’LL OOH AND AHH AND FORGET ANY EFFORT TO CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT. IT’S DINNER AS THEATER, IT’S FOOD AS YOU’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED IT BEFORE… IT’S TOTALLY, UTTERLY WORTH IT.
GEOFF NG, CITY WEEKEND, MAY 2012

ULTRAVIOLET IS RADICAL AND IT WAS VERY MUCH WORTH THE WAIT… THE FOOD IS CENTRAL TO THE NIGHT, NEVER JUST A PROP; EACH METICULOUSLY CRAFTED BITE IS SO DELECTABLE, WE’RE LEFT CRAVING MORE AFTER NEARLY EVERY COURSE.
CRYSTYL MO, TIME OUT SHANGHAI, MAY 2012

MATCHING THE GREATEST STARS OF THE CULINARY WORLD. (…) IF HE HAD STAYED IN FRANCE, PAUL PAIRET WOULD PROBABLY BE BY FAR THE LEADER OF THE CONTEMPORARY CUISINE.
J.P. GABRIEL, GENTLEMAN (BELGIUM), DEC 2007

PAUL PAIRET IS THE MISSING LINK BETWEEN THE 90’S AND THE THIRD MILLENNIUM.
OMNIVORE DEAUVILLE 2010 (FRANCE), FEB 2010

THE CHEF IS MASTERFUL, TURBULENT AND TOTALLY UNPREDICTABLE. HIS PRODUCTS ARE TOP-NOTCH.
FRANÇOIS SIMON, AIR FRANCE MAGAZINE (FRANCE), MAY 2007

PAUL PAIRET, MAGNIFICENTLY EXILED SINCE THEN IN SHANGHAI WHERE HE IS COOKING UP A STORM WITH JADE ON 36… SINCE THEN, INNOVATION FADES OUT IN PARIS.
FRANÇOIS SIMON, FIGARO SCOPE (FRANCE), MAY 2007

I KNOW THAT FOR MY LAST MEAL ON EARTH, NOTHING BUT JADE ON 36 WILL SUFFICE.
JOANNE HARRIS, THE TIMES (UK), OCT 2006

PAUL PAIRET COOKS LIKE A DREAM… PERHAPS THE BEST MEAL OF MY LIFE.
LUCY WAVERMAN, THE GLOBE & MAIL (TORONTO), OCT 2006

THE MAXIMUM LEADER – PAUL PAIRET, THE MASTERMIND IN CULINARY, HAS REDEFINED FINE DINING IN SHANGHAI.
JÜRGEN FRANKE, EAT MAGAZINE (GERMANY), DEC 2009

THE BEST WESTERN CUISINE IN SHANGHAI… CHEF PAUL PAIRET COOKS AVANT-GARDE CUISINE WITH FRENCH INFLUENCE – UNFORGETTABLE GOURMET DINING.
HANS SCHLOEMER, WELT AMSONNTAG (MUNICH), DEC 2006

ABOVE THE FABULOUS DECOR AND THE SENSATION TO DINE IN THE STARS, IT’S THE PLATE THAT WILL LEAVE YOU BREATHLESS.
DOMINIQUE HOFFMANN, EDGAR (FRANCE), AUG 2007

UNSUNG PICASSO – THE MAN IS AS FAR FROM A DIVO AS POSSIBLE, BUT PAUL PAIRET’S CULINARY CREATIONS BELIE TRUE ARTISTIC VISION AND STRONG CULINARY KNOW-HOW.
SIM EE WAUN, FLAVOURS (MALAYSIA), JUL 2008

CREATIVE, DELICIOUS AND EVER SO SUBTLY REFORMING PERCEPTIONS OF THE FOOD ON OUR PLATE.
JOYCELINE TULLY, APPETITE (SINGAPORE), SEP 2008