Dominique Crenn shares why poetry is integral to the dining experience, interview

(Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
(Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

For diners who are fortunate to be welcomed to a table at Atelier Crenn, the food served on the plate is only one part of the experience. While the three Michelin star restaurant is an elegant expression of French cuisine, Dominique Crenn adds a special touch to the meal. Although the perfect bite can make some people at a loss for words, a poem can help tell a story.

When food is beautifully prepared, it is an art form. It might be called a symphony of flavors. Others might compare the display to a masterpiece. However, the description comes to fruition, the food is more than just a bite of nourishment. It is a story that etches in the memory.

Often Crenn uses a poem to accompany her dining experience. When asked about her use of poems, Crenn shared the following with FoodSided.

“Poetry is the medium I use to share my food. Each dish is a story on the plate and that story is presented by a line of the poem. For me, it evokes a deeper feeling and connection to the food because it’s not just about feeding my guests, it’s about creating an experience that they will remember forever.”

That sentiment proves that Crenn takes a different approach to her cuisine. While everyone expects the self-taught chef to offer impeccable flavor, it is beyond that one idea. It is one of the many reasons why she is highly regarded in the culinary world.

In many ways, the creation of the experience extends beyond the emotion experienced by those who dine at her table. It impacts all elements of her restaurant.

Dominique Crenn says cooking should be done with love.

When asked about the environment that she creates in the kitchen, Crenn said, “I think that traditionally the approaches are different, yes, but my kitchen is not traditional at all. I use my own experiences to guide the creation of my menu and I lead my team with openness, compassion, and trust. Many professional kitchens can be harsh environments but I choose to run mine differently. Cooking should be done with love no matter where it’s done.”

While her exquisite food is always appreciated, she has expanded her medium to be more conscious of the impact that she can have on the culinary community. Crenn previously about the “power of gastronomy” to change society.

When asked about chefs being a strong voice for change in the culinary community, Crenn commented the following.

“It is important for all of us to be a voice because we have the power to make an impact in this world. It just so happens that a lot of societal issues stem from our food systems and as a chef it’s important for me to bring that to light. I want to make people more conscious about their choices and where their food comes from. I think if people knew more about their food, they would make different choices. I hope that by using my platform I can make a small difference in this world.”

From one stanza in a poem to one dish on a table, Dominique Crenn has and will continue to impact both the culinary world and beyond.

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Dominique Crenn appeared on MasterChef Legends, The Wall episode. This interview was facilitated by MasterChef on FOX.