Meet Chef Gregory PuginCheck out our chef team interview of chef Gregory Pugin. Pugin was awarded 'Chef of The Year' in Las Vegas, and was formerly Executive Chef at Le Cirque in the Bellagio
Chef Gregory Pugin
Chef De Cuisine, Palme d’Or
Before joining The Biltmore, Pugin was the Executive Chef at Le Cirque in the Bellagio in Las Vegas where they obtained a Five Diamond status and was announced the “Chef of The Year” in Las Vegas in 2011. In 2013, Chef Pugin joined The Biltmore Hotel where he established the only Five Diamond restaurant in South Florida and title of “Best Restaurant” by the JWU Zest Awards in 2015 & 2017.
After opening L’Atelier Joël Robuchon in New York City, he remained there for two years as Executive Sous Chef. Pugin left Robuchon to begin working as Executive Chef of Veritas, where he was recognized with a Michelin Star and a “Rising Chef of the Year” nomination from the James Beard Foundation.
Palme d’Or’s Chef de Cuisine says that he is “always thinking about the experience,” and hopes to make each meal “the best meal anyone has ever had.”
Interview With Chef Gregory Pugin
1. Where were you born?
Tarbes, in Southwest France.
2. Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?
I started cooking at home as a young child because I loved being in the kitchen, eating well, and making people happy with my food. I went on to study for my CAP and BEP Hôtellerie et Restauration (French National Vocational Qualifications Diplomas for Hospitality and Restauration).
3. What was your first kitchen job?
I was taken on as an apprentice at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, France.
4. How long have you been in the restaurant business?
Since the age of 16.
5. What are some of your favorite/signature dishes and what makes them special?
My favorites vary, as I change my menu to reflect the change in seasons. Presently, I have two favorites: Bellota Ham: Because it brings together products from my region, with all the flavors that I remember from my childhood, but in a very refined fashion. Lemon Marinated Langoustine: Because it showcases luxury products from the sea and a touch of exotic flavor that reminds me of Panama, with the vodka gelée as the perfect liaison between the sweet, delicate flesh of the langoustine and the fatty richness of the caviar.
6. What do you like most about your job?
Seeing people leave the table with a smile upon their lips.
7. What is the hardest part of your job?
Always reassessing what I do to be as close as possible to perfection.