Joël Robuchon, the haute-cuisine French chef with the most Michelin stars in the world, is about to set another record: most expensive event at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s 15th anniversary year.
His $1,500-a-head dinner Feb. 26 at the Moore Building (sobefest.com/robuchon) is billed as one that will leave guests “awestruck by elevated experience.” Translation: Alllll the truffles, foie gras and Bordeaux you can consume.
We checked in with the jet-setting, 70-year-old uberchef to see what he would reveal about the dinner and his forthcoming Miami restaurants, set to open in 2017.
Q. Ticket sales have been brisk for your big dinner. Does that make you optimistic about your upcoming projects here?
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A. Hopefully this is a sign that Miami diners will be excited when L’Atelier opens in Miami. Our [SOBEWFF] guests will be in for a real treat — I am planning an exceptional menu that will utilize outstanding products. I really hope to delight our guests during the dinner and give them a preview of what’s to come.
Q. What do you have in store for your Miami restaurants?
A. At L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, I think guests will find a great concept for this city, one that has already been very successful around the world. I look forward to having Miami diners experience my signature counter seating and open kitchen, where friendliness and approachability are key, and they can enjoy dishes in large or small portions.
Beneath L’Atelier will be a casual bar and lounge called Le Bar. And located across the plaza in a separate building will be La Boutique, with a large selection of sweet and savory items and of course our house-made breads. Upstairs from La Boutique will be La Terrace, an outdoor dining area. We are hoping to open in early 2017.
Q. What attracted you to Miami and the Design District in particular?
A. The Design District is becoming a very dynamic area with a lot of creativity, where you find art galleries, design studios, as well as fashion brands and of course restaurants. There is a lot of excitement and energy here, and it seemed to be the ideal place to introduce my L’Atelier.
Q. How much time do you hope to spend here once your restaurants open?
A. I travel the world to visit my various restaurants, and of course I plan to be in Miami very often — especially in the winter months.