Modern Global Tastings

Marcel Vigneron at BreadBar’s Hatchi Series

Marcel Vigneron at HatchiMy two biggest pet peeves in life are ungratefulness and arrogance. If I meet a person, and he (or she) continually shows signs of either, I’m quick to cut and run.

When I initially met chef Marcel Vigneron in the Bazaar’s kitchen last year, I thought he was full of arrogance. So much so, that the first thing I said to him (after a cocktail or two) was, “I hated you on Top Chef”.

If you’re not familiar with the show, Marcel was the runner-up (to Ilan Hall) on Top Chef season two, and his “character” was the one that I think most viewers loved to hate (including me). He was young, cute, super talented and the other cheftestants on the show didn’t like him much either. On TV, Marcel seemed overly cocky, arrogant and quietly obnoxious.

When I think back to our first meeting, I’m still horrified with my behavior. How could I judge a person by his “performance” on a REALITY show? I told a complete stranger that I HATED him. That’s a powerful word, in real life or not. And to top off my ill-mannered introduction, I asked to take a picture with him (he kindly obliged). Talk about ARROGANCE (on my part)!

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009Thankfully, Marcel and I are now friends, and I’ve apologized for that first meeting several times. He is absolutely one of the sweetest and most accomplished chefs around, and what came off as “arrogance” on TV was simply CONFIDENCE. It’s such a shame that the Bazaar didn’t appreciate his talent or patience. He quit recently and has been busy filming a pilot for SYFY, while also managing his Modern Global Tasting Catering Company.

Luckily, we food lovers got to experience an entire evening of Marcel’s cuisine at BreadBar’s recent December Hatchi event. The menu theme, was not surprisingly, the same as his catering company, “Modern Global Tastings”. Modern techniques included spherifications, sous vide and foams (just for us lucky Top Chef fans perhaps?). Global Tastings took our tastebuds around the world in one evening, and the cost was just $8 for each plate!

Hatchi at BreadBar is a “unique venture featuring a different guest chef every month preparing an original, one-night-only suite of eight plates, including six ’savory’ dishes and two ’sweet’ creations”. Hatchi means number eight in Japanese: 8 Plates offered at $8 each. Quite the bargain for what you get, and I try to attend each one.

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBiteMarcel’s guest chef Hatchi dinner was rather poignant, because this was one of the few times the general public got to taste HIS FOOD. Our table was filled with fellow foodies and friends including Marcel’s good pal, chef Ben Bailly (of Petrossian). Ben and Marcel previously worked together at Joël Robuchon, and it was hilarious watching them discuss each plate (sometimes whispering) throughout the evening.

As the night came to a close, the exhaustion was apparent on Marcel’s face, but more importantly… so was the pride, because it was all about HIS concept, HIS menu, HIS food (which was all phenomenal). I felt so grateful to be part of the delicious experience, and can’t wait for what’s next!

Modern Global Tastings:

“The edible alchemy presented here is a food movement representation intended to not only express a culinary philosophy but also to evoke a conscious perception of the natural shape and flavor of substances, colors, and textures that exist within the earth and have been interpreted by your sorcerer composer. May your appetite grow and your belly be satisfied.” ~ Marcel Vigneron 

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Pomegranate Blueberry Spherification (Amuse Bouche)

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Hamachi Sashimi: Espelette, Momo Chan, Kumquat, Salicornia

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Dayboat Scallop, Cauliflower Couscous, Kinome, Seaweed

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Langostine Ravioli: Tom Kai, Avocado Wrapped Mango, Petite Basil, Basil Seeds, Coconut Milk Powder

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Lyonaise Salad: Frisee, “Nesting” Egg, Bacon, Sherry Vinaigrette, Endive

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Broth being poured over MisoHoney Black Cod, Nasturtium textures, Sesame oil powder

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
MisoHoney Black Cod, Nasturtium textures, Sesame oil powder

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Vadouvan Lamb: Flavors of Tzatziki, Lavosh, Pickled Onion, Sumac

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Grass Fed “Corned Beef”: Sous vide short rib, Textures of Corn, Saul’s Pastrami, Black Trumpets

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Souffle, Green Chartreuse with Orange Peel ice Cream with Almond Struesel

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Tiny chocolate curry and passion fruit Macaroons

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Cubed Vanilla Marshmallows

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Cocktail: “Coke in Manhattan” Bourbon, Carbonated Coca Cola Spherification (so fun!)

Marcel Vigneron at Hatchi, MyLastBite
Popcorn cooked in liquid nitrogen (aka “Dragon’s Breath”)

BreadBar Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
310 277 3770

Dining Date: 12/17/09
At our table: Charles from 1HundredMiles, Robert, Andrew, Bob from TheBaubShow, Hanh from HungryHungryHanh, Charles from @EpicureImports, Chef Ben Bailly from Petrossian

Check BreadBar’s website for upcoming Hatchi events

More of my visits to Hatchi dinners

At the Bazaar, MyLastBite.comFollow
@MarcelVigneron on Twitter

Marcel’s Bio on Top Chef


Marcel Caters for Exposed Book Launch Event w/ Jessica Alba

Chef Ben Bailly, Petrossian

The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Marcel’s autograph for my niece (& nephew too)

Check back soon for website info & details on Marcel’s Modern Global Catering Company

More Hatchi Photos on Flickr


Filed under Eating Out, Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Hot Chefs

26 responses to “Modern Global Tastings

  1. actually really enjoyed his talents on TF despite what was protrayed…this looked like an awesome meal!!

  2. It’s unfortunate how the editing of Top Chef worked so perfectly to transform Marcel from a confident young chef into an arrogant young chef. When I read stories that people threw bottles at him during appearances, I felt that we had truly begun to wallow in the mud bath of reality television.

    The food looks exceptional. I have always appreciated the dishes Marcel prepared using Molecular Cooking techniques. It was still so new to me when season 2 aired that it seemed a world away, so I was impressed at how adept he was with it. I still am, in fact. Liquid Nitrogen Popcorn? Fuggetaboutit!

    Great post, Jo. I like that you’re so open about your feelings for people, and that you admit it when you’ve misjudged something or someone based on first impressions. We’ve all done it. Very few of us admit to it.

    • It’s so strange watching people on tv that we know. Even more so on Top Chef 6 with Michael V. It’s then when I really understood how BAD editing can soil a reputation, since I knew Mike BEFORE taping.

    • I saw though the editing of Top Chef and just saw Marcel as a brilliant young chef that had talent above all the glad he made it as far as he did. I was rooting for him to win…but his time is coming

  3. Robert G.

    Great post Jo! I was lucky to have been included in this dining event. Awesome food and lots of fun.

  4. So much fun that night and REALLY AMAZING food! I am now a new Marcel fan and can’t wait to eat his food again. Thanks for introducing me to him! xx

  5. Very cool post, Jo! You’re making me regret not snagging a seat at Marcel’s Hatchi. Hopefully he’ll find a permanent home in 2010.

  6. Krissy Lefebvre

    Jo, this is what the food world loves about you – your passion and support of the art of cooking. So many of these chefs have an uncontrollable need to express themselves, whether that be on the plate or otherwise and will your willingness to embrace each form of expression, even if bad editing, makes you so special. Looking forward to trying Marcel’s food one day.

  7. _jessmac

    That all looks so amazing! Especially that egg! Thanks for sharing!

  8. jo,

    that food looks phenomenal! i always had a soft spot in my heart for marcel…his talent and confidence were so apparent, as well as his passion for cooking and his artistry. he was like the smart kid in class that all the others pick on (mostly borne from their own insecurities). how fantastic you were able to realize you had misjudged him and are now friends – we rarely get opportunities like that!

    happy new year to you & peter!

  9. Marcels mom

    I loved reading this. I too would yell at the TV during top Chef, after all I was watching my son, knowing in my heart, he is not the least bit arrogant, he has his moments (scripted).
    He has a great love, a passion for food. He works very hard, yet he keeps his humor, his hunger, his desire to bring more to the table. We have only just tasted the beginning. He inspires me, I think he inspires other just to be who you are and do what you will.
    So thank you and Happy New Year

  10. Marcels mom

    Well let me try this again, being Marcel’s mom, believe me, he is not the least bit arrogant, he can appear to be yes, that is reality TV. He is very sweet, very humble, his humor is perfect, just like his food. He loves what he does, it is his passion, to create food from his heart to yours. He never listens to the bad raps, he knows better. We will see far, far more of him, this I know. So thank you all for seeing who he is, what he does, he has far more to show.
    That is what I love about him.
    Thank you

  11. streetgourmetla

    This was a great dinner. I snuck in for the lamb, corned beef,the langostine and the Lyonaise salad. All were superb. It was great to see you.

  12. Pingback: episode 51 :: first impressions « my life as a foodie

  13. Danielle

    I have to say I was a huge Marcel fan even back when he was on season 2 of Top Chef. I thought he was so talented and that people were being so horrible to him (in fact, when I yelled at the tv, it was when others were being mean to Marcel). I never really thought he seemed arrogant…maybe I am just used to how tv shows can spin things to make for “better tv.” I have been a fan of his for years and will continue to be…no matter what other people say or think.

  14. chefgui

    Ha. Just met Marcel last weekend and he is definitely NOT an arrogant man. Actually quite ego-less, fun, and very knowledgeable.

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