Farago, a restaurant opened by Pierre Dutaret and Jean Valfort in 2013, has been a runaway success ever since it opened.
Located in the “cour des Petites Ecuries” in Paris’s 10th arrondissement, Farago is based on an innovative tapas concept. The Farago team makes full use of their creativity to make Pintxo, a dish of Basque origin. The concept of sharing a meal is also of upmost importance in an ambience which is both modern and friendly in harmony with the music.
Farago’s team includes 3 Le Cordon Bleu Paris alumni: Pierre Dutaret, Iñigo Ruiz Rituerto and Chia Hung*. We met them…
*Chia left the restaurant in 2015
Could you tell us how you became passionate about cuisine?
Pierre: I loved food from a very early age. Jurançon played a very important role in my childhood and I relished the dishes prepared by my grandmothers who were exceptionally gifted in cuisine and pastry. Originally from south-west France, where the quality of products is of upmost importance, I still get emotional when I think back to my first large family meals.
Iñigo: I come from Navarre where gastronomy is extremely important. The quality of our vegetables, meat and ham etc. is exceptional. We love cuisine and pintxo is a tradition which is deeply rooted in our culture. My mother and grandmother both cooked a great deal and I wanted to go to the Basque Country to learn more about this traditional cuisine style.
Chia: It is a passion that cannot be explained, it is innate. My grandfather was a Chef and I also loved cooking with my mother.
Why did you choose to study at Le Cordon Bleu Paris?
Pierre: I had always dreamed of learning French cuisine in the place that I thought was best suited to me: Le Cordon Bleu.
Iñigo: I wanted to learn the basics of French cuisine which, in my opinion, is the best in the world. Le Cordon Bleu has a worldwide reputation, top quality teaching and prestigious internship opportunities. It perfectly equips you for a professional career anywhere in the world.
Chia: I chose Le Cordon Bleu for the excellence of its instructors. The school also has a worldwide reputation and is very open to foreigners.
What did you gain from your time at our school?
Pierre: A very thorough training program, enjoyable and enriching relationships with the Chef instructors, and the chance to meet people who helped me to make my dream become a reality: Opening Farago.
Iñigo: The importance of working cleanly and tidily, techniques and organization are the things that have really stayed with me. Thanks to the Grand Diplome Program, I developed skills and savoir-faire in cuisine and pastry. This gave me the opportunity to work in top-class establishments such as Arzak, Etxanobe, Le Chardenoux and Senderens, where my learning curve continued.
Chia: I learnt all the basic cuisine techniques, how to be well organized and to develop my creativity. The school also gave me the opportunity to carry out an internship at Le Galopin.
Could you tell us more about Farago?
Pierre: It is a pintxos restaurant, which is a top quality tapas specialty from the Basque Country. We have taken traditional recipes and products and developed a modern and contemporary restaurant with a global vision. The concept was an immediate success and the restaurant is always full.
Iñigo: Farago has a great variety of top-of-the-range pintxos, just like you would find in Spain. The raw materials do in fact come from Spain and are of exceptional quality. To avoid being repetitive, we give our creativity free rein.
Chia: Farago’s team is dynamic, kind and warm. I learn something new every day because for the first time I am really responsible for something. I need to think carefully about how things should be organized and how I can pass my knowledge on to others. I am also learning many new techniques thanks mainly to Fernando Canales, our Michelin-starred Chef.
Thanks to all three of you! We wish you every success in this wonderful culinary adventure.