Biography of Philippe Rochat
Philippe Rochat was born in 1953 on November 29th at the Sentier from an Italian mother and a Swiss father. He goes to school in la Vallée de Joux until the age of 12 and then in Romont, where his parents held “Le Café de l’Union”.
After having worked in different establishments, he got the opportunity to be part of the most renowned ones in Zürich: Le Baur au Lac and Le Savoy Baur en Ville. For six years, he discovers a refined kitchen, learns exigency and opens his eyes on what he really wants to do. Meanwhile, Philippe travels in Lyon, where he discovers the creations of Paul Bocuse, and in 1978 the ones of Crissier, and that was a revelation for him: “I had crush on this authentic kitchen for both its shape and its technical mastery”.
His first day in the kitchen of the restaurant of Chef Girardet, on July 1st 1980, is only the beginning of a sixteen year adventure, of a new apprenticeship, in which Philippe Rochat will be alternately at the pastry, meat section and vegetable division. Before being commissioned Chef de cuisine in 1989, he does not only become Girardet’s sous-chef, but also his shadow and his double, the model employee, in which Fredy Girardet gives his entire trust. December 1st 1996, Philippe Rochat becomes the owner of the prestigious restaurant, renowned worldwide and classified in the first places of the best restaurants in the world. During the recovery, Girardet entrusts: «Rochat is the heir of my philosophy”.
Philippe observes the world of flavors in a deep and personal way. His kitchen grasps the product and enhances it always with intensity. At this stage, the product develops a strong aromatic magnitude; the transformation becomes transposition. There is no need to multiply the ingredients to succeed in this process: “Only three flavors on each plate are sufficient,” asserts the chef, respectful of the heritage. The use of aromatics is strictly forbidden: “I only tolerate the extraction from the product itself”.
The success of Philippe Rochat is closely linked at Benoît Violier, who also worked for Joël Robuchon and has been proclaimed Meilleur ouvrier de France in 2000. It is also thanks to Franck Giovannini, Cyril Maurel, the pastry chef who elaborates desserts of an extreme complexity, but also the rest of the team, from the simplest commis at the chef de partie, who humbly fight for the success of the symphony that represents every meal at the Hôtel de Ville de Crissier.
This year, the career of one of the biggest Chefs in history takes a new turn. Indeed, on April 1st 2012, Benoît Violier is going to succeed him in taking the leads of the historical Hôtel de Ville de Crissier.
Awards and distinction
Philippe Rochat’s talent punctuated by his incomparable precision and his intransigence, led him as well as his team, to win or receive different distinctions.
1997: The attribution of 3 Michelin stars and 19 points at the Gaul & Millau
1998: Qualification of his establishment as the best Swiss restaurant. Philippe Rochat is named « Cuisinier de l’Année » by the Swiss gastronomic press and becomes a member of « Les Grandes tables du Monde » as well as of «Les Relais Gourmands».
1999: He is elected “cook of the year” by the Swiss Gaul & Millau
2000: In the French Gaul & Millau guide, entirely written by Henri Gault, the latter writes : « Crissier still shelters the best restaurant of the world »
2001: Philippe Rochat receives the «Five Star Diamond Award » from the American Academy of Hospitality Science
2002 : He receives the honor diploma from «Le Club des Cents »
2003 : The famous and very respected gastronomic French critical Jean-Claude Ribaut from the newspaper « Le Monde» qualifies Philippe Rochat of the « Meilleur cuisinier du moment ». The German magazine « Der Feinschmecker » qualified Philippe Rochat and his team of
«Der Beste in Europa ». For the second time, Philippe Rochat wins the «Five Star Diamond Award » from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. In October, his book « FLAVEUR » comes out in French and German.
2004 : « Le Gourmand World Cookbook Award » gives the first price of « Meilleur livre de Chef » at « FLAVEURS » published by « Les éditions Favre » in Lausanne. January 26th, the « Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie » in Paris awarded Philippe Rochat with the «Diplôme littéraire de Gastronomie 2003 » for his book « FLAVEURS ». Then, on February 9th the magazine « Bunte » in Berlin claims that Philippe Rochat is the best restaurant in Switzerland and elects him for the second time in 2005 In March, the club « Prosper Montagné Suisse » awarded « FLAVEURS » with « Le Grand Prix du livre gastronomique ». The guide «La Suisse Gourmande » assigns him, the best mark and qualifies him of the best Swiss restaurant. Philippe Rochat was elected best Swiss personnality of the year and receives the
« IDC AWARD ».
2005 : The Schlummer et Schlemmer guide qualifies him of the best Swiss cook. In Madrid, « Le Grand Prix de l’Art de la Cuisine 2004 de l’Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie », composed of eighteen countries, has been assigned to Philippe ROchat in February 2005, after Joël Robuchon et Fredy Girardet winners in 1990. May 30th, the syndicate Daniel Brélaz and the municipality of the capital of Vaud gave to Philippe Rochat the Gold Medal of the city of Lausanne. 2006 : February 2nd, Nicolas Mettra, General Consul of France in Switzerland gives him the Medal of “Le Mérite Agricole Français”. May 22nd in Paris, the France honored Philippe Rochat. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Douste-Blazy assigned « L’Insigne de Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Mérite » for the role of excellence that he plays for the service of the culinary art and his radiance. Philippe Rochat and his chef de cuisine Benoît Violier were inducted members of « l’Ordre International des Disciples d’Auguste Escoffier » from the hands of its Swiss President René Winet. Vaud awarded to Philippe Rochat, «Le Mérite Cantonal Vaudois » at a ceremony at the lors Château de Chillon on April 2nd 2008. The State Board of Vaud decided to create an official cantonal distinction in order to honor any person whom the activity rebounds in Vaud in an exceptional way.
« L’Académie Culinaire de France » enthrons Philippe Rochat on May 6th 2009 at a ceremony at the Hôtel de Ville de Crissier.
However, the biggest success of Philippe Rochat, remains having always had around him, both in rooms and kitchen, « an extraordinary team of 45 people, who totally proved how much they wanted to work