Master Chefs of France Curate California-Inspired Dishes for San Francisco Gathering

American Pistachio Growers
Master Chefs of France come together for the upcoming Maitre Cuisinier de France USA Conference in San Francisco

Master Chefs of France come together for the upcoming Maitre Cuisinier de France USA Conference in San Francisco

FRESNO, Calif., June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- American Pistachio Growers (APG) recently teamed up with renowned Master Chefs of France Gerald Hirigoyen, Laurent Manrique and Roland Passot for the upcoming Master Chefs of France Conference in San Francisco. The Master Chefs will create pistachio recipes inspired by the healthy California lifestyle using fresh, flavorful California ingredients. The chefs uphold the culture of France through their cooking, reminding the culinary community that French cooking doesn't have to be rich to be delicious.

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Master Chefs of France is an envied title that many chefs aspire to have; the organization aims to preserve and promote French culinary arts, encourage training in cuisine and assist in professional development. The process to become a Master Chef of France includes rigorous training and examination, ensuring only the most talented culinary artists who are French nationals earn the title.

Master Chef Hirigoyen handcrafted a delectable pistachio gazpacho with watermelon and cucumber. He spends his free time scoping out new paths on his mountain bike, and his philosophy on healthy cooking is simple: you have to use the best ingredients. Because of this, he regards California pistachios as a quintessential element in many of his dishes.

"Health-wise, pistachios are a beautiful nut in terms of what they contain. The potassium, antioxidants, fiber, and so forth…and they have a lot of versatility from a chef's perspective. There are so many things you can do with pistachios that add nice visuals, flavor and nutritional benefits," said Master Chef Hirigoyen.

As for Master Chef Manrique, who is a recipient of two Michelin stars and a Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit, he has a passion for hiking that allows him to appreciate pistachios both in and outside of the kitchen. While he certainly uses the nut to add interest and texture to dishes, such as his tartare of fresh beets and pistachios with thyme goat cheese cream, Manrique also relies on pistachios to provide energy while exploring new trails.  

To further demonstrate their dedication to superior ingredients that fuel healthy lifestyles, the Master Chefs were highlighted in a short video featuring their meals alongside their favorite outdoor activities.

In celebration of the California locale of the Maitre Cuisinier de France USA Conference, Master Chefs of France created recipes using California pistachios, which are grown throughout the state. The chefs featured in the video include Gerald Hirigoyen, Laurent Manrique and Roland Passot, all of whom have established themselves as one of the greatest chefs who have brought delicious French cuisine to America.

The Maitre Cuisinier de France USA Conference will take place in San Francisco on June 15 – 18. To learn more about the participating chefs including Daniel Boulud, who built a culinary empire resulting in a Michelin-starred flagship in NYC, and Eric Ripert, who has three Michelin stars and has firmly established himself as one of New York's – and the world's – great chefs, please visit To learn more about Maitre Cuisinier de France USA, please visit

About American Pistachio Growers 
American Pistachio Growers™ is a non-profit voluntary trade association representing more than 865 members who are pistachio growers, processors and industry partners in California, Arizona and New Mexico. For more information, please visit

About Gerald Hirigoyen
Chef/Owner of Piperade, San Francisco
Co-owner Clos Pissarra Winery, Catalonia, Spain
Member – Maître Cuisinier de France (Master Chef of France)
Recipient of Chevalier du Merite Agricole (Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit)

Gerald Hirigoyen, who grew up in the Basque region of France and was surrounded by a cooking culture, embarked on his culinary journey at an early age. After having developed his skills in his hometown of Biarritz, Gerald moved to Paris to start his patisserie apprenticeships at the age of thirteen. Thirty years later he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked at several restaurants and cultivated what would become his signature: incorporating fresh ingredients into simple yet scrumptious dishes that echo the local spirit as well as that of his homeland.

Gerald opened his first modern French bistro – Fringale – in 1991, which made him "an instant star," according to Michael Bauer's review in the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2002, Gerald and his wife Cameron brought the French-Basque flavors he was raised on to downtown San Francisco with the opening of Piperade. Two years later, he opened Bocadillos and became a co-owner of Clos Pissarra Winery in Catalonia.

The Hirigoyens' restaurants and Gerald Hirigoyen's accomplishments have been featured in such renowned national food journals as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times. He was named one of Food and Wine Magazine's "Best New Chefs in America," in 1994, as well as San Francisco Magazine's "Chef of the Year" in 1995 and a second time in 2003. In 2006, Gerald was a nominee for the James Beard Award: "Best Chef, California." In 2011, he was appointed by the French government as a Chevalier du Mérite Agricole, and elected by his peers as Maître Cuisinier de France in 2015. Chef Hirigoyen and the restaurants have appeared in television programs on The Food Network, ABC, CBS, PBS, and NBC.

About Laurent Manrique
Recipient of Chevalier du Merite Agricole (Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit) 
Owner of Café de la Presse and Blanc et Rouge and Herlen Place Wine Bars, San Francisco
Co-owner of Aquitaine Wine Bistro, San Francisco; Millésime, New York
Member of Maître Cuisinier de France (Master Chef of France)

Manrique discovered his culinary passion during childhood while cooking with his grandmother in the Gascon village of Roques, France.  Following an apprenticeship several years later, with Master Chef Roger Duffour, Manrique trained with Master Chefs Claude Deligne and Yan Jacquot at the Michelin-starred Taillevent and Toit de Passy in Paris.

With the encouragement of Master Chef Michel Rostang, Laurent went to Los Angeles in 1991 to work at restaurants Fennel and Rex. Just one year later he moved to New York City to take over as Le Grand Comptoir's executive chef. His time at the renowned bistro was followed by an executive chef position at the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley. In 1998, the same year he was chosen as Bon Appetit's Rising Star Chef, Laurent left the Waldorf to become partner and executive chef at Gertrude's.

He left New York in 1999 to join San Francisco's Campton Place as Executive Chef, where he ranked in Gourmet's "Top 10 Best Restaurants in the Bay Area," and Food and Wine's "50 Best Hotel Restaurants."

In the spring of 2003, Manrique was named Corporate Executive Chef for Aqua. His cuisine and leadership played a significant role in the restaurant's extraordinary success in San Francisco, including two Michelin stars in 2006, which he upheld for three consecutive years. Meanwhile, he opened Cafe de la Presse and Rouge et Blanc Bar, which are currently some of San Francisco's most popular dining venues.

Laurent's New York project, Millésime, an upscale seafood brasserie in the historic Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue, opened in November 2010 and was named one of New York's Best New Restaurants 2011 by Esquire magazine. In April 2014, Laurent opened the Aquitaine Wine Bistro in San Francisco, and Herlen Place in 2017.

Laurent Manrique is a member of the Association Maître Cuisinier de France as well as a Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit (Chevalier du Mérite Agricole).

About Roland Passot
Chef/Owner La Folie and Left Bank Brasserie, San Francisco and LB Steak in San Jose, California
Recipient of Chevalier du Merite Agricole (Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit)
Member of Maître Cuisinier de France (Master Chef of France)

Chef Passot began his culinary career at the age of 15, in the France gastronomic capital of Lyon where he was traditionally trained by some of the most famous French chefs.  He rose from apprentice to assistant sous-chef under Chef Paul Lacombe before heading to the US.  In 1981 he became the opening chef at the French Room at Dallas' Adolphus Hotel, where he began to receive national accolades. He soon followed his heart to San Francisco, and in 1988 he and his wife Jamie opened La Folie, where he continues to showcase his own personal style of cooking.

Numerous successful and noted chefs credit Roland as their mentor. In addition to receiving a host of honors and awards through the years, he was inducted into the Maître Cuisinier de France in 1991, and received the "Chevalier du Mérite Agricole," awarded by the French Government in 2001.

Chef Roland has been awarded the James Beard Award for Best Rising Star Chef in 1980, James Beard Best Chef in California 2005-2007, Best Food and Best French Restaurant by Zagat in 2002, Best French Restaurant in 7x7 Magazine, 4-stars by the San Francisco Magazine, Top 100 Restaurants 2015 in San Francisco Chronicle, and 4-stars by the San Francisco Chronicle. La Folie, which was awarded a Michelin star in 2006, celebrated its 30th year, in 2018.

CONTACT: Judy Hirigoyen
PH: (001) 559-475-0435 




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SOURCE American Pistachio Growers