Practicing chef and artist Jay Batlle (pictured above left, with his adorable daughter Esme Josephine) is quick to draw the connection between the gourmet food and art, as seen in his “Epicurean” paintings and drawings. We asked him to share his 5 favorite chefs for all of the foodies out there. (Pictured above in order from top to bottom)
His “Simple French Foods” cookbook was a present from an art patron.
I realized quickly that “simple” did not apply to the recipes in the way I had expected. It was my first real challenge in cooking. I recently discovered he moved to Paris in 1951, where he was close friends with (and painted many of) the American and English bohemian expatriate set.
A personal friend and I think the most talented chef I’ve ever cooked with, his place Hegia in the Basque French country is mind blowing. He can debone a bird in seconds flat. He served us so many truffles, I felt drunk, but maybe that was the magnum of Pouilly Fuisse we were drinking that Michelin gave him when he got his first star.
He is a chef that is just crazy about “legumes.” I had the most amazing 10 course “garden menu” at L’Arpege in Paris, his 3 star restaurant off the Rue du Bac. It started with sushi and climaxed with hay smoked chicken, I think the best chicken I have ever eaten… not to mention the cheese course, consisting of ten types of cheese. Just watch how much attention he puts into making a salad here.
I had the Bo Ssam for 10 a least a dozen times at his restaurant, because oysters and pulled pork have the best form of umami. I love making paintings on stationery from Momofuku, andrecently Momofuku posted my work on their tumblr.
Lucques restaurant is one of the few places I always try to go to when I’m in L.A. I had the best Valentine’s dinner there with two of our best friends. A double date with grilled duck breasts. Her cookbook is probably the M.V.P. in my home kitchen.