Origins of Anne-Sophie Pic

Spanning three generations, the Pic family legacy lives on with chef Anne-Sophie, whose flavours reflect her culinary roots as well as a love of vegetables, a modern-French cooking style and travels in Asia.

Origins of Anne-Sophie Pic Photo


My childhood was spent in the kitchens of the family restaurant [Maison Pic] in Valence – between Lyon and Marseille. Back then, chefs used to live above their workplace and the cooking aromas would fill our living spaces. I was surrounded by the great local produce that hails from the region, especially olive oil and bitter white asparagus.


There used to be an abundance of crayfish in France and my grandfather was particularly fond. His crayfish gratin went on to be the dish that would make him famous. He made it with nantua – a very traditional French sauce combining a béchamel base and crayfish butter. I remember the taste of it vividly from my childhood. Sadly, there are few crayfish in France now because they are very sensitive to pollution, but my restaurant in Lausanne looks over Lake Geneva and I am happy to have them on the menu.

Father Jacques

Like my grandfather, my father Jacques shared a passion for seafood. He would cook a lot of fish even though Valence isn’t close to the sea. Red mullet and golden saffron were special ingredients he would cook with, but perhaps his sauces were the main influence on me. Not only are they critical to French cooking, but a sauce is like a chef’s signature. My father approached his with a lot of intent.

Orange blossom

A prominent speciality ingredient in the Auvergne- Rhône-Alpes region where I grew up, orange blossom is harvested for neroli – famous for its use in perfumes – and the flavour is captured beautifully inside pogne de romans, a sweet dough-like brioche enriched with orange blossom water that’s popular in the south of France. It is one of the best flavours I can remember and sparked an obsession with the ingredient. We source ours from Vallauris now and pair with it other blossoms, such as jasmine – it is magic.


Before I went into cooking professionally, I studied international management and one perk was the travel. I was lucky enough to spend six months in Japan and it was amazing. I got lost – both in the literal sense and in the cuisine – and I discovered ingredients like matcha. After my father passed, I took over the family business and when I first used a dashi broth in French cuisine it was revolutionary. I added it to lobster and a bed of red berries – the smoky dashi balanced perfectly with the tart fruits. But of course, being French I had to add a lot of butter to it, which I don’t think you will find in Japan!

Michel Bras

He was one of the first chefs to push vegetables in French cuisine and I have always admired him. My cooking involves a lot of vegetables too, especially ones that are often overlooked such as the modest beetroot, cabbage and carrots. I enjoy the challenge of using them as the star of a dish in place of meat. He also inspired me because he is self-taught and that gave me personal confidence as a chef.


I opened La Dame De Pic, Raffles there in 2019 and I always look forward to returning. The first thing you notice is the smells, especially from the markets – mix coconut, ginger and spice and you know you are in Singapore. There are heavy Indian influences in the food there and although you will find the same set of spices in Thailand, what standouts about Singaporean cuisine is the way spices and flavours are blended.

Nouvelle cuisine

Paul Bocuse was considered the father of this movement and said, ‘There is no classical or modern cuisine, just good cuisine.’ This idea is extremely important as without it, cooking would not improve. It gives chefs a chance to question, challenge and evolve. London is more open to this idea than Paris, which I appreciate every time I am here.

Origins of Anne-Sophie Pic Photo

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