"Yannick Alléno, the most glamorous Three Michelin Star chef in Paris, has a mission – a dirty one. Ever since he read a French food writer’s accusation of a certain sameness at the top of French cuisine, he decided to dig deeper into the origins of his ingredients.
We are more accustomed to hearing the word terroir from wine-makers, who use it to ascribe the unique flavours and characteristics of their product. It is one of those untranslatable French words, meaning something that involves a blend of dirt, territory, climate and identity. Yannick Alléno thinks it is time that the culinary produce of the Paris region be identified, protected and celebrated, especially as many producers are under threat from urbanisation. From his rarefied headquarters opposite the Tuileries Gardens as chef of the three Michelin Star Le Meurice (www.lemeurice.com/yannick-alleno), in one of the grandest palace hotels in Paris, he would seem an unlikely candidate to be found trudging through paddocks and farmyards around Paris."