Chef Felix Eppisser of Le Planteur Restaurant and Lounge, Yangon, spends a few minutes with The Yum List and shares his stories of life as a restauranteer in the newly developing country.
What do you do and how did you got into the industry?
I am currently the tenant of Le Planteur Restaurant and Lounge, Yangon. With my Michelin star background I am responsible for the quality of all dishes which go out but mainly for the training of our staff. There are no culinary art academies in Myanmar. Everybody has to learn everything from the scratch. My wife and I share all responsibilities of this challenging project.
I chose to become a chef when I was 15 years old. Cooking is my passion and the past 35 years I have done a lot. I was member of the most successful Swiss culinary national team, won lots of internationally renowned competitions and created dishes for Swiss international Airlines. Aside I was managing our Fine Dining Restaurant Spice and the Boutique-Hotel Rigiblick with my wife in Zürich.
What's the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part of my job is to be in touch with nature through wonderful products and to create colourful dishes. The worst is currrently the heat in the kitchen in Yangon.
What's the best thing about working in Yangon?
The best thing about working in Yangon is our cheerful Burmese team.They always have a sense of humour and support us strongly.
What's your personal favourite meal/ drink at Le Planteur?
My personal favourite meal is a real nice Swiss veal sausage from the BBQ with fresh, warm bread and mustard. I love to drink French wines, especially white burgundies.
What's your favoured food and wine pairing?
I like a dry, high quality Gewürztraminer from Alsace with curry foam - it's just a wonderful combination. But there are many more experimental great discoveries, for example Banyuls (sweet red wines from the south of France) with chocolate.
Tell us a story about one of the dishes you prepare.
One of our signature dishes are the very thin truffle ravioli. The tray I brought to Myanmar to produce them was manufactured by my father who passed away. There is no other way to produce this kind of tasty ravioli with such a thin dough. People love them and it is one of our most selling dishes.
The perfect day off would be...
Go jogging with my wife, have breakfast at Governor's Residence, draw some jewellery, relax and go for dinner at Shwe Sa Bwe Restaurant.
A life in the day of a restaurateur is...
Early morning jogging, breakfast, control the supplies arriving and organize the day, assist and supervise Mise-en-place work, control the plates going out, meetings, motivate the staff and drink a few espresso. My working day is over fast. I also welcome the guests at the open kitchen door and say good bye to them. Our concept is really personalized.
What do you do for fun?
I participate in sports events like the Borneo Marathon in Java. That keeps me fit and healthy. I am in a good shape for my age.
How do you select your ingredients and why?
In Yangon I cannot be too picky as we have to buy what we get and sometimes supplies and products are not available or only for certain periods. But we manage very well to get high quality products as Le Planteur has been established since a long time and we have trustful local suppliers and importers.
What can guests look forward to at Le Planteur?
Guests look forward to our wonderful garden where they can enjoy al fresco Dining. The temperature is nice and cool and the atmosphere breathtaking.