Working in luxury fashion for most of his life gave Dorian Le Bigot little chance to train professionally as a chef, but his passion for cooking drove him to spend most of his free time honing his skills and techniques, and developing his own recipies influenced heavily by French cooking. Booking inquiries started pouring in after he organised a few supper clubs with close friends and KTCHN was eventually born in 2020 after Le Bigot found his cosy space in Chai Wan.
What’s your biggest hurdle when starting out?
The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to maintain consistency in the quality of my food. It’s important my guests have the same level of expereince every time they visit, even when the menus change all the time. After I got comfortable in my private kitchen setting, it became a breeze and I really enjoy being able to offer flexibility on the menu to give my guests very personal dining experiences with their friends. I also enjoy communicating directly wiith them and taking care of them personally.
What differentiates your kitchen from other F&B offerings in Hong Kong?
What’s unique about KTCHN is that you feel right at home once you come through our doors. Our open kitchen allows guests to interact with me while I’m cooking, and they can see their food being prepared from beginning to end. It gets my guests really excited, and I find so much enjoyment in seeing their faces light up when I serve my dishes. They can feel very comfortable about asking me questions if they’re curious about any steps during my cooking.
What was the first dish that first put you on the map?
The signature dish at KTCHN is our French Duck Breast. We cure it overnight in koi then air dry it to obtain a very crispy skin. It’s served with a jus made with the duck bone, paired with a local purple sweet-potato puree, pickled onion, radish and beetroot. The dish is packed full of umami and earthy flavours, and has remained a guest favourite to this day.
What are your pantry essentials?
Butter and Katsuobushi. As the base of practically every French dish, butter makes sauces silky and velvety. It adds such rich, fatty and sometimes nutty flavours depending on how it’s utilised in a dish, Katsuobushi to unmatched savoury quality.
Pick one ingredient to cook with in the month of August.
August is when my favourite fruit, the lychee, is in season. Plump and juicy, it can be used in many creative ways. Sometimes I pickle them to serve on the side of a bone-in pork chop. We’re also working on a new hot-sauce formula that features lychee and Carolina Reaper. Stay tuned for that.
If you could only make one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pot-au-feu. It’s a French classic i never tire of. The simple meat and vegetable beef-broth stew allows so much flexibility and is easy to make. You can pick different cuts of beef and seasonal vegetables, making grocery shopping swift and painless because you’re not required to look for specific items. Packed full of flavour, the stew is best served with a dollop of Dijion mustard and bone marrow. Absolutely delicious!
Which surprise ingredient pairing have you discovered that everyone should try?
My version of the sweet-and-savoury combo comes in the form of an amuse-bouche. it’s a Roasted Squash with Coconut Sago and Aged Stilton. The creamy sweetness of the squash and coconut with the sharpness of the Stilton balance each other very wel, making it a very exquisite bite that always leaves you wanting more.
Check out our full list of Hong Kong’s Top Private Chefs here