Jacques and Laurent Pourcel
The twins of French Cuisine. Born into a family of wine growers in Adge, in Southern France, in 1964, they grew up near the Mediterranean Sea where they discovered the respect of products and nurtured their love of good food. This love of food, paired with their creativity, brought them into the world of cuisine.
Their master chefs are, among others, Bras, Meneau, Gagnaire, Chapel and Trama. They all helped build their palate, gave them the means to discovers new flavors, new pairings but also provoked their creativity to new pairings. At 24 years old only, they decided to team up with wine specialist Olivier Château, who was only 21, and opened their restaurant: Jardin des Sens, in Montpellier. The restaurant was quickly praised and known as one of the top culinary destinations in the South of France. In recognition of their dedication, their very peculiar flavors profile and their unmistaken cooking style, they were awarded their third Michelin star in 1998.
Since then, they toured the world opening restaurants and pop-up ventures to make sure they can pursue their ambition: share their love of great food and good wine with everyone. From Paris to Tokyo to Shanghai’s World Expo, they have now opened their latest project: Jardin des Sens in Ho Chi Minh City for your own pleasure.
The Corporate Chef. Born in Perpignan on Valentine's day, Richard Toix always claimed to become a cook. Despite learning in cooking school and working at three-Michelin-starred Les frères Roux in London and then in several French major restaurants, he still considers himself mainly a self-made man. The kind who needs challenges.
In 1992, this former rugby player took a year to pause and think. He harvested apples and pears in Val-de-Loire and tried wine trade, but Richard Toix actually came back to his vocation. He opened Le Champ de Foire in Lencloitre (near Poitiers-Le Futuroscope) with his wife Laure. "Why there? Because it's the only place we both liked". The couple succeeded in making a name for themselves: the Red Guide awarded them a Bib Gourmand. Fifteen years have passed and they yearn for something bigger. Richard starts looking for a new place.
After many searches, the Toix fall in love with charming Saint-Benoît and buy the Chalet de Venise in this village. Located five minutes away from downtown Poitiers and a quarter from Futuroscope, the garden with its 300 m2 terrasse is surrounded by bucolic Le Miosson river, acting as a genuine cocoon. In May 2007, the huge renovation is completed and Passions & Gourmandises is now born. This boutique Restaurant is meant to follow Chef's modern and refined creations. Richard Toix is inspired by products, seasons and all styles of cuisine from around the world.
"Should we keep on the recipe only? Then it should be Osyter and Shalotts cooked my way. Did this particular dish enchant the Michelin Guide inspector? Anyway, the Restaurant was awarded its first star only nine months after its opening. My greatest pride... But my two children, of course!" - the man confides with his France Southwest accent. Since then, the star is still shining as a recompense for the work of a whole team.
Born and raised in Chartres in the north of central France. Paul started his career in Michelin Starred restaurants. Starting his career with 2-star Michelin chef- Bernard Bach at Le Puit Sant Jacques, being inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean Sea. He then headed back to his hometown in the South of Corsica to join the opening team of 2-star Michelin Restaurant- Belvedere, soon after to the kitchen of one of the most exclusive hotel of the island, the Marinca. After 2 seasons there, he moved to French Alps, at the 3-star Michelin restaurant, La Bouitte, where he finally found his own style of cooking and philosophy. Paul has always been inspired by the real and authentic French cuisine, simple and pure, and is renowned for his Roasted Chicken. He now has joined the Pourcel Twins’ Family at Jardin Des Sens Saigon as the Chef de Cuisine.