Born and trained in France, Paul Pairet runs three restaurants of widely different natures in Shanghai – popular French modern “Mr & Mrs Bund”, avant-garde 3 Michelin star “Ultraviolet”, and casual chic café “Polux”.
Pairet is a culinary egalitarian. Whether using tinned sardines to produce sophisticated, avant-garde fine dining, or using sophisticated, avant-garde techniques to produce the simplest of French classics, he approaches both with an equal lack of prejudice and unbiased opinion. Restaurants, the same.
Mr & Mrs Bund is a different expression of Pairet’s passion. The theme here is simplicity and popularity, and its populist formula seems a radical departure from the sophisticated, avant-garde cuisine that Pairet has been known for. But at its heart is a unique democracy of vision, an undercurrent that unites the two.
Pairet looks at ingredients for what they are, devoid of context, as opposed to what they might be, an approach he terms “the newborn’s eye”. He insists that a canned sardine is not in any way “worse” than a fresh one, nor are truffles intrinsically more suited to fine dining than Coca-Cola. All of them can be found in his cooking, at various occasions.
In the same spirit, his daring avant-gardism is no “better” than the populist simplicity. In one, the technical theater is on the plate; in the other, it is a means to an end, a new approach that results in inspired renditions of old favourites, perhaps with a twist.
World’s 50 Most Influential French People 2019 Vanity Fair France
Restaurateur of The Year 2018 Les Grandes Tables du Monde
Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
Chefs’ Choice Award 2016 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 That’s Shanghai
Super Chef 2017 ShanghaiWOW Best 50