Q&A with local chef, Philippe Mouchel
06 April 2017
1. When did you become a chef?
I began my apprenticeship at the age of 16 at the Hotel le Grand Cerf, Evreux. Soon after, I relocated to Bordeaux where I met Roger Jaloux, chef for Paul Bocuse. Little did I know, this would turn out to be one of the most influential meetings of my career.
Three years after meeting Paul, I was asked to relocate to Tokyo to work at his new restaurant, Bocuse. This is where I was first exposed to Japanese flavours and cuisine, both of which would continue to play a strong influence in my cooking.
Since then I have worked in Lyon, Hong Kong and the USA.
It was in 1991 that my family and I relocated to Australia where I opened the restaurant Paul Bocuse at Daimaru in Melbourne.
2. What was your inspiration to become a chef?
I’ve always had a passion for cooking and my family had a major influence on my decision to become a chef. The French do have a passion for food!
3. When did Philippe open?
Philippe opened in June 2016 as a contemporary French bistro, located in the basement of the heritage listed Austral House, at 115 Collins Street, less than a block away from the T&G Building. We offer traditional yet innovative French cooking with high quality seasonal produce at an affordable cost.
4. Why did you choose to open it at such a prestigious and unique location?
Collins Street is an ideal location for Melbourne business professionals and frequent city visitors and because of this we host a number of business lunches. We serve a variety of clientele with a passion for good food and wine.
5. What’s your favourite menu item?
I enjoy all items on the Philippe menu. As a French-trained chef, my cuisine is always served with sauces and jus.
6. What is the most popular item on the menu?
Definitely the chicken rotissoire, which is served with a mushroom farce under the skin and roast potatoes.
7. If you could open one restaurant overseas, where would it be and why?
Paris… it’s the gastronomy capital of the world. But for now, the Paris-end of Collins Street is where I’m happy to call home!