We caught up with Chef Nicolas during his four-day culinary extravaganza trip to Bangkok from 15 to 18 March 2017 at The District Grill Room & Bar.  Nicolas bring his Mediterranean and Italian influences to serve up some delectable flavors in classic French style and craft out an exclusive à la carte menu sourced by creative ingredients of the best quality, paired with a perfectly matched collection of finest wines in town.
Story By Guest Writer – Derek Cheong

Born in the south of France. Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Isnard is co-own the restaurant – L’Auberge de la Charme earned a Michelin star in 2009, within a year of opening. We ask him about his career journey over the past few decades, his passions and many more. Check out our 10 questions with Chef Nicolas below.

Do you enjoy Thai food? What is your favorite Thai food?

Yes I do, my love for Thai food was instant since 8 years ago when I first visited Thailand. I particularly enjoy the spiciness and sourness of this cuisine. There are too many Thai dishes that I love but I must say “Pad Thai” and “Tom Yum Goong” are my top two favorites.

What do you think of The District Grill Room & Bar?

This is one of the best places for fine dining with a twist in Bangkok. The ambience is exclusive, the staffs here are friendly and the open kitchen is simply remarkable. I really enjoy working here with the team even though it’s just for a few short days.

What is your cooking philosophy?

Easy, “No product, No cuisine”. Cooking to me is a life-long passion, I love knowing how to cook because if I have a craving for something, I can do something about it and I can make it the way I want.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not busy working?

I am an active person with a great passion for travel. When I don’t travel, I enjoy spending time with my wife and children, listening to music and reading interesting books. All these activities influence me and inspire me to experiment new cuisines in my kitchen.

Who is your most influential chef and what did you learn from him/her?

Gilles Goujon, a 3-star French Michelin chef who can create and transform almost anything to something great. The way he cooks his food and the flavors are simply impeccable.

Have you ever cooked for any VIPs?

Certainly, I have cooked for many celebrities and politicians in my career and some of them include the President of France, Jacques Chirac and French actor Christian Clavier.


What is your greatest achievement in life?

Happiness, it is the greatest achievement for me. I love my job, I love my family, I love to travel for work, I love eating all kinds of food and I am always smiling as you can see. Life is too beautiful for me.


What is the most difficult ingredient to work with?

It will be bitter orange jam as I am not a big fan of bitter tastes, except for Gin & Tonic. Then again, I would put a lot of lemon juice in Gin & Tonic as I love the sour and acidic flavor. That probably explains the reason why I love Thai food.


What will be the best words to describe your cooking?

Happy and flavorsome. I always believe the theory of “What you cook is who you are” and I love cooking “Happy Food” for my guests.

What is your best advice for people who aspire to be a successful chef?

You have to love your food, be patient, curious, open-minded and adventurous; these are all the essential makings to be a successful chef.