A long time ago. . .
In 1996, I was in Australia; I just had closed the restaurant I was heading. . . sold to a famous Melbournian restaurateur. On the road again.
Food was the only way I could express myself, my single language. I wanted to deliver my own best; I needed to find a way to speak.
The goal was to eradicate the constraints that a traditional “A La Carte” restaurant’s system imposes. . . I needed to shift control.
I had in mind to make something small, very personal, home feel in professional hands. . . a revival of the 17th century table d’hôte.
Like at home, I’ll pick the time, pick the menu. . . set the music, spark off the light; I would grow a beard, set a table of 12, call it “the last supper”. . .
In controlling the offer, I would master the cooking, trigger the ambiance; match, contradict, and influence one another.
Beethoven and candlelight on a carved short rib anyone?
But life took me somewhere else.
For 15 years, I came close to opening this small table project 3 times. The closest before Shanghai was with Baccarat and Jean Louis Costes in Paris – but that’s history. Finally it’s Shanghai.
When you look at Ultraviolet today, the core of the project remains the same, although everything has been pushed to the extreme. The technology, the tools, the staff, the experimentation. . .