It’s the most important meal of the day for me, a real ritual. Ideally, I will be in my garden at my farm in Normandy and pick fruit to eat. The seasons are fundamental to the way I think and cook – when we opened L’Arpège 31 years ago it was groundbreaking to let them dictate your menu. If I can’t be in my garden, I adore breakfast at The Savoy in London. I like how it feels charged with a sense of history, and the service is extraordinary – warm, welcoming and impeccable. I will order simply: York ham, boiled eggs and soldiers. Eggs were an important part of my childhood; I enjoy the ceremony of breaking the shell. I like my toast sliced very thin – aiglette style. I would have some drizzled with olive oil, and some with salted butter and a little curry powder to dip in the egg. I find the perfect oval of an egg so pleasing and sensual. I’ll drink Japanese green tea. I prefer to have breakfast on my own and plan my day, while observing how others start their daily ritual.
Clamato is the coolest place I know in Paris. I love the chef, Bertrand Grebaut, who worked for me for a year and a half. He has a lovely sensibility when he cooks and is so thoughtful and cerebral. My favourite dish is cabbage, shallots, olive oil and fine herbes. It’s just three little steps to prepare and has great beauty and simplicity, with perfect taste, texture and seasoning. If it’s in season, I’ll order seafood; I adore fresh anchovies and grilled langoustines. To finish I’ll have a raw-milk camembert which they buy from the fromagier Marie-Anne Cantin. Clamato is lively and noisy with seats very close together. I’ll take my 80-year-old mother, Marcelle, a couturier who lives in Brittany. She relishes the atmosphere. We’ll talk about creativity, and about fabrics. She still sews and recently made me a beautiful white cotton shirt that is so wonderful to wear.
I adore Singapore – a country where people live to eat. Restaurant Gunter is perfect, especially their poulet Bresse, though I would also eat chilli crab from a hawker stall. Otherwise dinner has to be at Le George, an Italian restaurant within The Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris. The chef, Marco Garfagnini, has great talent and passion. The dishes are seasonal, perfumed and so full of flavour. The ravioli with green peas, young onions and fresh mint is sensational with a glass of wine. I adore peas – I serve them with strawberries at L’Arpège, a surprising yet incredible encapsulation of summer. My mission is always to make ingredients taste like the essence of themselves. The light at the restaurant is very beautiful, too. I’d eat there with my brother, Hervé, who lives in Normandy. We’d talk about gardens and I’d feel content.
Alain Passard was talking to Sudi Pigott