French Fine Dining – The Affordable Way

October 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

A French chef once told me that every individual has his or her own talents. Some can paint like Michaelangelo, some can sing like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and some can cook up an unforgettable meal, even without formal cooking lessons. That French chef is Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille, the owner of Cuisine Gourmet Studio and Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio in Kuala Lumpur.

A batch of meringue baking in Nathalie's kitchen

Scores of blogs and online posts have sung praises of her creations. In fact, it may come as a surprise to some if they knew that Chef Nathalie never undertook any formal education on cooking. Before she embarked on her culinary creating adventure, Chef Nathalie was working in the advertising industry back in Paris, France. Then, she was constantly organising dinners for her close friends on a weekly basis. Every one of her friends was amazed at her talents and they all agreed on one thing – that she should definitely consider starting her own restaurant soon. The only time she trained in a restaurant was when she underwent a three week training with a 3 star Michelin chef back in France.

Roasted Pineapple Tart, Exotic Sorbet

Though she migrated to Malaysia over a decade ago, she only decided to open her restaurant back in 2009, when the family decided to make Malaysia their second home. Prior to this, she was already giving cooking classes and catering from home for 11 years. She started her own cooking classes as she had difficulty finding classes that were suitable for herself when she first came to Malaysia. And in such a short time, she has carved a name for herself in the Food and Beverage industry in Malaysia. Her macaroons have set the standard across Kuala Lumpur and till date, she has come up with more than 35 different flavours for macaroon lovers to choose from. Chef Nathalie was also recently voted as The Best Chef of the Year by Time Out KL.

Salmon Tataki, Celeriac Puree with Salmon Roe

Though running two busy restaurants is a tough and demanding job, Chef Nathalie loves every moment of it. Seeing her patrons enjoy every bite of her exquisite French food gives her all the satisfaction she needs to keep her going. In Malaysia, French cuisine is usually offered at a premium price, something which Chef Nathalie is striving to change. Good food, according to her, need not come at such high a price. It is her dream to introduce French cuisine to the average Malaysian at a price that everyone finds affordable.

Time does not determine a chef's greatness; passion does

The constant challenge to balance affordability with authenticity and quality is something Chef Nathalie excels in. A dinner for two featuring French cuisine which may normally cost at least RM 500 or more is only RM 300 or less at Chef Nathalie’s restaurants. For those who crave for variety, take heart as there is no need to worry that they will find themselves looking at the same items on the menu every month. Chef Nathalie changes the menu for both restaurants every month; every 1st of the month for Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie and every 15th of the month for Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio.

Lettuce Gaspacho, Marinated King Prawn with Roasted Bread

For the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival, Chef Nathalie has prepared some of her outstanding dishes for all to sample and try. For a price of RM255++ (without wine), patrons can enjoy a myriad of tastes like foie gras, lobster, cod fish, oysters, beef and even caviar in its menu. This is indeed an absolute opportunity, not only for aficionados of French food, but also for beginners to sample these mainstays of French cuisine prepared exquisitely by Chef Nathalie.

Blue Lobster Mille-Feuille with a touch of Caviar

We definitely recommend having a French evening at Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie when you are in Kuala Lumpur.

For those of you who are looking to try French cuisine, Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio at Solaris Dutamas will be open for dinner on Friday, 21st October 2011. Interested parties may call 03 6207 9572 or contact them at contact@nathaliegourmetstudio.com to book your table.

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