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Claude Troisgros

French Tradition Meets Brazilian Innovation, by Andrea Rademan

“When I was 21, my dad’s friend wanted someone to go to Rio for two years to help him open a restaurant. I volunteered,” says Chef Claude Troisgros. That was in 1979. Troisgros, scion of France’s iconic Troisgros restaurant, stayed on, married a Brazilian woman and eventually won honors as the best chef in Rio de Janeiro and the best chef in all Brazil. He owns 66 Bistrô, CT Brasserie, CT Boucherie and the award-winning Olympe,  has published or contributed to countless cookbooks, has two TV shows and is a consultant to the Blue Door Fish restaurant in the Delano Hotel in Miami.

Hallmarks of Troisgros’ revolutionary style of combining Brazilian ingredients and French cooking techniques include his signature “crepe passion,” a caramelized pancake stuffed with passion fruit soufflé, and a take on New York–style cheesecake made with Brazilian cheese and guava jam. In a nod to his roots, Troisgros’ menu at Olympe pays homage to his grandfather, Jean-Baptiste, with Canard Passion, duck with caramelized peaches, and to his grandmother, Marie, with a filet of grouper and caramelized bananas, lime, herbs and raisins.

The ultimate fusion of French tradition and Brazilian innovation is Thomas, Troisgros’ 27-year-old son, who now cooks with Troisgros in Brazil.

Photo by Alexander Landau