Most of the professional chefs at the top gastronomic level are men. Very few lady chefs and that is sad. We really wish for more fantastic chefs like Carme Ruscalleda, Elena Arzak, Nadia Santini and Annie Féolde. One of the best chefs in the world regardless of gender is Anne-Sophie Pic (or Pic-Sinapian since she got married). Her gentle and sophisticated cooking with the utmost respect for every single ingredient results in a cuisine served at one of the best restaurants in the world.
Anne-Sophie Pic was born in French Valence and she comes from a dynasty few others can match when it comes to cooking. The Pic family’s gastronomic history began in 1889 when Sophie Pic opened a small café named l’Auberge du Pin in the town of Saint-Péray. Sophie Pic’s cooking became more and more famous and her many dishes, like sautéed rabbit and gratins and black pudding were in great demand. Sophie’s son André Pic spent a lot of time in his mother’s kitchen and later took over the restaurant. He was the first in the Pic family to be top awarded and in 1936 the restaurant was moved to the centre of Valence. Eventually André’s son Jacques Pic took over the realm and he was also highly recognised.
It was not obvious that the daughter, Anne-Sophie Pic, of the great Jacques Pic, would take over after him. She spent several years travelling and living in Paris, Japan and the United States. She also studied business and management before she was supposed to start working in the kitchen of Maison Pic and be trained by her father. Unfortunately her father died and it took several additional years before Anne-Sophie Pic returned to the kitchen, in the autumn of 1997. She met her husband David Sinapian during her time in Japan and in 1998 they took over the management of Maison Pic.
The contemporary and styled interiors of the Maison Pic food temple are a must visit for all food lovers around the world. There are several alternatives on the menu to choose from, but our favourite is the Pic Collection that is not an inexpensive selection, but the texture, flavours and creativity of the dishes easily make up for the price of 330 Euro per person. You can expect to have a Jacques Pic classic from 1971 with line-caught bass with Aquitaine caviar, but mostly you will have Anne-Sophie’s brilliant new Creations such as Bresse chicken with melting turnips and chutney of Medjoul dates with Voatsiperifery pepper and poultry soup. One of our favourites is the blue lobster roasted in seafood butter, lobster consommé flavoured with red berries, creamy celery mousse and with green pepper.
Anne-Sophie Pic comes from an amazing breed of super chefs, but she has chosen her own culinary path and developed her own unique cuisine that is an essential selection for all food lovers.
Written by Andy