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24 Hours in the Life of... - Laurent Petit

24 Hours in the Life of... Laurent Petit

What a treat to spend an exceptional moment with Michelin three-starred chef Laurent Petit, member of Les Grandes Tables du Monde at the Clos des Sens in Annecy

Chef Petit stands for pure unadulterated talent and is a straight talker whose unique gastronomic vision excels through the magical finesse of a largely plant-based, lacustrian, almost 100% locally sourced cuisine. The sweet spell of his creations is an ode to culinary journeys, offering dining room travelers a carefully mastered gourmet odyssey that they naturally long to reiterate.

What are your days like?

I generally wake up at 7.30am. I love freedom and the fact that no two days are alike, although they naturally share common elements. For example, I feel it is very important to say good morning every day and this can be done in varied ways that can be collegial, thoughtful, moving, targeted, sometimes a pat on the back, professional… Greeting people is a key to communication that I think about daily: it’s my little morning philosophy. Otherwise, I skipped breakfast for 20-25 years, but with my wife we now at least drink a little citrus juice and sometimes enjoy some toast and jam. After that it’s off to begin the day’s work. I have never worked alone and it’s essential for me to cooperate with others. My career compass is all about exchanges, sharing, trust, passing on and delegating. A good day brings me about 40 people to greet and by 9.15am it’s time to do a tour of the kitchen, check the goods and spend some time in the office. The Clos des Sens is a full-fledged SME with all its intricacies, its duties, its follow-up activities such as with special requests from certain clients. At 11.45 we have a briefing session with all the teams in the dining room, the Executive Chef and the Pastry Chef. This involves a debrief regarding the previous day’s work as well as briefing all those involved about the people we are going to be hosting. At 12 noon it all kicks off and I spend time at the passe (long table where the dishes are placed before serving) and sometimes I weave in and out of the dining room. I have lunch with my wife Martine at around 2.15pm in the breakfast room, before heading back to the dining room at 3pm to greet guests. After some office and accounting work, I take a nap around 5pm and at 6.15pm we start again for the evening stint, with a debriefing session, tasting, checking the menu in relation to the produce, etc.

Laurent Petit

Clos des Sens © Mathieu Cellard

Do you have any watches?

That’s quite funny actually, as I didn’t wear watches for a very long time because I generate too much static electricity. I had a Breitling Navitimer that I liked. It was unostentatious and must have appealed to someone as it was stolen from me. I now wear a simple, readable, durable and user-friendly Garmin watch which suits me for everyday use.

Your dream watch?

I really like Hublot Big Bang watches: their design, legibility, functions, longevity and robustness. Indeed, having decided to hand over my establishment to my loyal team members Thomas and Franck (respectively Director and Executive Chef) to continue our philosophy of creativity, these timepieces could perhaps be a well-deserved double gift for Martine and myself to help us keep time in our new life.

Laurent Petit

Clos des Sens © Mathieu Cellard

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