Chefs’ Choice Award 2016

The pioneering French chef whose Shanghai restaurants prompt admiration and awe in equal measure

Paul Pairet

Ultraviolet and Mr & Mrs Bund, Shanghai 

The pioneering French chef whose Shanghai restaurants prompt admiration and awe in equal measure

Judged on Mr & Mrs Bund alone, Paul Pairet is an outstanding chef and visionary restaurateur. His spacious ‘grand bistro’ on the Bund, with stunning vistas overlooking the Huangpu river, serves a vast menu of French classics executed with the chef’s inimitable twists, contemporary technical wizardry and witty execution on the plate (or otherwise).

The first restaurant in China to grace The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Mr & Mrs Bund was at the forefront of the trend for super-relaxed service styles (wait staff are dressed in jeans and sneakers) that remain engaged and professional, and for combining high-quality dishes with an atmosphere that verges on party-like. It’s no coincidence that this luxurious but fun restaurant is billed as a Modern Eatery.

But despite its recent refurbishment, Mr & Mrs Bund is not Pairet’s primary focus, or even what he’s become most famous and admired for. That privilege belongs to Ultraviolet, his extraordinary and experimental ‘secret’ dining concept that puts the multi into sensory with its all-out assault on guests’ eyes, ears, nose and taste buds. Since its opening in 2012, no restaurant has pioneered the notion of experiential dining more than this single-table Shanghai destination.

Pairet himself, always clad in his trademark blue cap, has dedicated his professional life to pushing culinary boundaries, often through highly technical plays on texture, temperature and pre-conceived expectations. Born in Perpignan in southern France, he was a keen student scientist before turning to the alternative science of cooking.

From his early days in France, via stints in Istanbul, Jakarta and Hong Kong prior to arriving in mainland China in 2005, he has always been inquisitive, unconventional and restless in his exploration of gastronomic ideas.

Now working on the third incarnation of the Ultraviolet menu, the 51-year-old combines high-concept philosophical ideas with precision execution, gaining widespread admiration from leading chefs across Asia and beyond.

+86 21 6323 9898

Mr & Mrs Bund
c/o Bund 18
6/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
Shanghai 20002
+86 21 6323 9898

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