From custom kitchens at the Mandarin Oriental in Paris – where he earned two Michelin stars in 2012 – to Kendo dojos, the French chef holds Japanese culture in high esteem, even making it the main ingredient in his collection.
What do you like most: painting, objects, photography?
Objects, without a doubt. I started by collecting antique books from the 18th and 19th centuries, and then mainly Japanese weapons. I learned at Drouot, where a friend of mine, an antique dealer, had taken me. I met fascinating people there who taught me a lot.
An artist or work that has caught your eye recently?
The works of the Museum of Oriental Art at the magnificent Ca’ Pesaro, which I discovered during the last Venice Biennale.
A work you'd like to own?
An original comic strip by Enki Bilal, and, since we’re speaking of dreams, an erotic print by Hokusai, or one of his mangas.
The artist who moves you most?
The culinary photographer Mathilde de l’Écotais (his partner, Ed.) and, once again, Enki Bilal. I also very much appreciate calligraphy.
Do you prefer the FIAC or Biennale Paris?
The Biennale Paris, which I attend very regularly. But, as someone who puts a lot of distance between my emotions and consequent actions, I have never bought anything there, yet!
Is there a guiding theme behind your acquisitions?
Unsurprisingly – Japan, and in particular the Edo period, which is a troubling, energizing period and the origin for the blossoming of the arts of the archipelago.