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Pierre Koffmann

22 September 2009 by

Pierre Koffmann is the iconic French chef whose name has been synonymous with the finest French food since 1972, when he cooked alongside Michel Roux at the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire.

Five years later, Koffmann opened his own restaurant, La Tante Claire, in 1977 in London's Chelsea with his late wife Annie.

Koffmann ran La Tante Claire for 25 years. His culinary style - a refined version of the French country cooking of his home region of Gascony - not only gained him the top accolade of three Michelin stars, but has also inspired the cooking of countless other chefs, among them Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, Tom Aikens, Eric Chavot and Phil Howard.

Ramsay made Koffmann an offer he couldn't refuse when Ramsay bought the original La Tante Claire premises on Chelsea's Royal Hospital Road in 1998, prompting Koffmann, after more than 20 years, to relocate to the Berkeley hotel. The move cost La Tante Claire its third star, which it lost in 1999, and Koffmann never regained it.

But the loss of the third Michelin star did no lasting damage to the reputation of La Tante Claire, or Koffmann himself, who has been described as "God" by chefs.

However, Koffmann decided to close La Tante Claire in 2002, admitting he was unhappy working in a hotel restaurant. Despite announcing plans to retire, he remained involved in the industry, consulting on a number of restaurants and spending a year as head chef at the Bleeding Heart restaurant in London's Farringdon.

And, after years of rumours about a possible full-time return to the stove, Koffmann announced he would launch a pop-up restaurant for nine days at London department store Selfridges in October 2009, as part of the inaugural London Restaurant Festival.

The announcement created such a frenzy of interest that the organisers of the event extended the opening of the pop-up restaurant throughout the month.

News

Pierre Koffmann to run Selfridges pop-up restaurant for an extra two weeks

Pierre Koffmann returns to the stove for London Restaurant Festival

London Eye to serve dishes from leading chefs during restaurant festival

Pierre Koffmann still has it in him, says critic

Claudio Pulze sells Brasserie Saint Jacques

Koffmann loses star in move to Berkeley

In-depth

Pierre Koffmann - Top of the pop-ups

Pierre Koffmann hosts a culinary demonstration

La Gavroche at forty

A Claire perspective

Pierre Koffmann's protegés

Marco Pierre White
Jason Atherton

David Everitt-Matthias

Tom Aikens

Tom Kitchin

Kevin Mangeolles

William Curley

Recipes

Daube de Boeuf, by Pierre Koffmann
Rump steaks with shallots and marrowbones, by Pierre Koffmann

Pierre Koffmann on the web

Pierre Koffmann pops up at Selfridges (London Restaurant Festival)

Pierre Koffmann returns to cooking (Guardian)

Stampede for Koffmann's top table (Evening Standard)

Video

Marco cooks for Pierre Koffmann (part one)

Marco cooks for Pierre Koffmann (part two)

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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