Rumour has it that eating at the Régis et Jacques Marcon restaurant is like having all the different seasons served up on a plate. Led by a spirited father and son duo, the three-Michelin-starred Régis et Jacques Marcon is a restaurant nestled atop the hillside of Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France that focuses on the mushroom as its core ingredient. With a speciality in cooking with all types of the fungi available throughout the region and the added focus on ingredients that reflect the surrounding countryside, the restaurant is no longer just a hidden gem in this part of France, but a well-known fine dining spot that is now on the global stage.

Chef Jacques Marcon and his dad, Régis Marcon

Régis Marcon, the masterful chef who started the restaurant and first got into the mushroom business thanks to the dampness of the land surrounding his restaurant. Foraging and cooking with fungi then became something of a habitual rhythm of the chef’s life. Beneath all his haute-looking delicacies lied the most basic and beautiful ingredient of nature. It’s the true core focus of the restaurant to make wholesome, nutrient-rich food for diners to relish in. Rare and refined, his unique mushroom-fuelled meals, at long last, have obtained him 3 prestigious Michelin stars in 2005, as many had expected would happen.

Later joined by his progressive son, Chef Jacques Marcon, the restaurant became further powered by another gifted chef who raised his dad’s cuisine up a notch through a creative and sustainable take on cooking. After numerous internships and cooking experiences with a number of far-famed chefs throughout the country, including Bernard Pacaud of the Ambroisie in Paris, Eric Briffard of the Elysées du Vernet, Gilles Goujon at the Vieux Puits à Fontjoncousse, Chef Jacques Marcon as a Head Chef of Régis et Jacques Marcon has successfully retainined the reputable stars of the restaurant up until now.

With Millennium Hilton Bangkok welcoming Chef Jacques Marcon to Prime restaurant for the Hilton Hotels’ centenary celebration, the French cuisine master will bring his expertise and showcase the charm of forest-harvested fungi through his five-course lunch menu and seven-course dinner menu. Starting from 28 February to 2 March, the three-day event will undoubtedly delight those who are fond of the umami-packed ingredient.

But before diving deep into his culinary delights, let us dive deeper into his culinary insight. Read on for our full interview with Chef Jacques Marcon to get to know the chef of your food before reserving a spot at this magnificent dining pop-up!

How would you describe your style of cooking?

I focus most on cooking with hyper-seasonal ingredients. They can be anything that can be sourced and harvested from around our restaurant, for example, farm-grown mushrooms and nature–raised herbs. Season and nature change constantly and so does our menu. As a result, the food we are serving here at the restaurant will be based on what blooms and flourishes most during that week.

What kind of stories are you telling through your food?

I want to transport my guests to the forest where fresh produces have been picked and harvested through my food. The story of what’s out there in nature is always the story I seek to tell through every dish I create.

When did you start cooking?

I started cooking with my father at the age of 10.

Why have you chosen to use mushrooms as your key ingredient?

Our restaurant is surrounded by many forests. And we found mushrooms to be very fascinating since the tiny little fungi always reflect the environment that it grows in. We were so enchanted by it that we started using all kinds of mushrooms throughout the entire course, including dessert.

What makes you and your dad different from each other?

My father is very experienced in the kitchen. He pays most attention to the taste of each dish. As for me, I care a lot about the presentation of the food that I serve. So I try to incorporate art and flavours all together in cooking.

What is your vision as a chef?

First and foremost, my vision as a chef is to promote and enrich the country’s or the community’s agriculture. Second is to make wholesome and nutrient-rich food for people. And lastly, as a chef, I need to create a team spirit within the restaurant that is strong and as spirited as it can be. As you may already know, teamwork in the kitchen is very, very important.

Is there any chef that you look up to?

My father.

Do you find it challenging to constantly create?

Yes and no. Creating a new dish is a process that can’t be forced. It has to come to you naturally. For me, creating process also requires top-notch ingredients, a good team and plenty of room for brainstorming – that’s how we come up with the best new dishes for diners to enjoy.

Throughout your culinary journey, what have been your three best dishes?

1. Brochette Margaridou which is my signature dish at the restaurant. It’s composed of meat skewer served with aromatic truffle sauce and a lettuce salad or a black morel mushroom.
2. Green Lentils with Black Truffles.
3. Caramel with Dry Morels.

What advice would you give to aspiring chefs?

Becoming a good chef is a long process. So take the time to learn and practicing your art well is very important.

What are you looking forward to most during the Hilton Hotels’ centenary celebration at Millennium Hilton Bangkok?

It’s such an honour to be invited as part of this joyful celebration. I really hope the guests will enjoy what I’ll be cooking.

Those who would love to get a taste of his food, be sure to reserve yourself a seat at this one-of-a-kind dining pop-up happening in Bangkok this month. The lunch set menu is priced at THB 5,500 for food only and an additional THB 2,100 for wine pairing. And the dinner set menu is priced at THB 9,850 for food only and an additional THB 2,800 for wine pairing. For further information and reservations, please email bkkhi.informations@hilton.com or call +66 2 442 2000.

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.