Chefs in Kuala Lumpur

Interview with Olivier Pistre, Executive Chef, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I started my culinary journey 25 years ago in my hometown in France. My parents were butchers and I developed a passion for food from my childhood.
As Executive Chef of Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, I am in charge of managing the dining outlets and ensuring that we give our guests a dining experience that is rich in flavour and top-notch in service.

Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
When I was Executive Sous-Chef at Château de la Chevre D’ Or, Eze-Village in France, we experienced a blackout for two hours. It was dinner time and we knew we had to think of an alternative. We set up candles in the restaurant and my team and I had to cook in the kitchen which was illuminated only by candlelight. It was a challenging situation but we managed to pull through with the amazing teamwork and guests were happy with their meals.

What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is when I see a smile or nod of appreciation from my guests when they take the first bite to savour their food. I take pleasure in knowing that I’ve given pleasure to my guests through the meals I’ve prepared.

What’s your favourite meal in Malaysia?
This one is easy, it has to be the Kari Ayam. The mix of spices and ingredients gives it a spicy and sensational flavour which tingles your taste buds in every possible way. Apart from that, I’m a big fan of beef satay.

The perfect day off would be…
Exploring the city and checking out the local scenes. Malaysia is known for its diversity and food. Being a foodie myself, I truly enjoy the local specialities as it is rich in flavours and the mix of traditional cuisines creates a strong identity in the culinary scene.

A day in the life of a chef is…
Exciting! There’s always something new happening and it gives me immense pleasure to infuse my creativity into the dishes I prepare to ignite the senses of our guests through the food they taste.

What do you do for fun?
Cook! I like to cook.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about Lafite?
Lafite is the epitome of French fine dining. It serves classic French dishes made to perfection and paired with the best selection of wines, to give guests a gastronomic dining experience. It gives me great pleasure to imbue my DNA into the dishes and interpret my culinary inspirations and showcase them through my cooking.

What’s your favourite food and wine pairing?
My favourite food pairing of all time will have to be a bottle of Sauternes from Château d’Yquem and Gabriel Coulet Roquefort cheese, which is known to be the cheese of kings and popes!

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
The next couple of months is going to be very eventful. We have worked out a splendid menu with the best of Malaysian and international flavours for the Festive Dinner Buffet at Lemon Garden. Apart from that, we’ll be launching a new a la carte’ menu at Lafite and there will be something new to the Afternoon Tea and Lobby Lounge in the coming months!

Read about our most recent meals at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur here and here.

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  1. Great interview! And it is so nice to see a chef who likes to cook, even on his/her time off!

  2. Very impressive-looking line up of chefs there!

  3. Caning Jaramillo

    Yeah great interview, and the staff picture looks Fab!

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