Chef Andrew Wigger: “In my kitchen, everyone contributes ideas and flavours”
At the helm of Frame
, the California-inspired restaurant at the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel hotel, Andrew Wigger develops fresh and colourful cuisine. His menu draws upon the culinary traditions of Mexico, Asia, and France, always reinventing itself with a single goal in mind: a delicate and sublime balance of flavours.
A few hours before the dinner rush, the chef welcomed us to his kitchen, taking some time out for a chat free from pressure but full of passion.
Frame is an emphatically Californian restaurant. How about you?
Before becoming chef at Frame, I spent five years in California, but I'm from Missouri, in the Midwest of the United States. I grew up on a farm where we ate typical local dishes such as barbecued chicken: delicious, but a far cry from Californian cuisine!
How would you describe your culinary journey?
A culinary world tour, you mean! At the end of my training, I became a chef in Kansas City. Then I worked in an Italian restaurant, with a very famous chef in the United States, Lidia Bastianich. Next I joined the team of a restaurant whose chef had worked in Europe and trained with Charlie Trotter, the celebrated Michelin-starred chef. It was the chance of a lifetime for me! Our kitchen offered a mix of French, American and Canadian inspired dishes. After that, I continued my journey by the side of an Irish chef.
How do you like to cook?
For every dish, I try to use ingredients that bring to mind our idea of Californian cuisine. Take the classic cheeseburger: at Frame, we prepare it with a tomato and red pepper jam instead of traditional ketchup, adding some Emmenthal cheese, rocket, paprika...
Tell us more about these home-grown products!
Many of our fruits and vegetables come from our own garden, just behind the hotel. We also have a hen-house. If you order eggs Benedict at brunch, they come from here! We have also installed three beehives, but it is still too early to enjoy their honey.
What are some of the most popular dishes at Frame?
The cheeseburger, of course, and the fish taco. We reinterpreted the Mexican recipe California-style by marinating the fish in lemon, lime, orange and tequila. We serve the fish with guacamole, mango and Chinese cabbage.