In case you haven’t been informed, Chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier has left the Mandarin Oriental. The French chef has waved buh-bye to a long and lauded nine-year stint as head chef of the hotel’s renowned restaurant Le Normandie, which he steered to two-Michelin-star recognition in 2017.
Hailing from Savoie in the French Alps, Chef Arnaud worked with famed culinary masters such as Marc Veyrat, Guy Martin and Jacques Lameloise before embarking on a career at Le Grande Dame in 2012.
"I achieved a lot at this restaurant, with the Michelin stars, a Tatler award—everything, actually. But for me, it’s just time to move on, to turn the page, to do something else," the talented chef told Time Out in a phone interview, adding that it’s now time to start considering his next step in life. "It’s not because I don't like the restaurant. I love [it and] the hotel but, guess what, it’s about time. I will turn 40 soon. And for me, it’s time to go on to the second part of my life—something a bit different. I’ve worked [for others] for 25 years. It's time to do something else for the next 25."
It’s about time. I will turn 40 soon. And for me, it’s time to go on to the second part of my life
'Something a bit different' would be his own restaurant, which will be opening early next year. "It will be in Bangkok because I like Bangkok. I’ve been living in the city for almost 10 years. One of my sons was born here and I really like Thais and Thailand in general. And, honestly, it's also because [I earned] my reputation as a chef here."
His new restaurant, called Maison Dunand, will be located in a compound in Sathorn and will comprise two parts: a French contemporary bistro and a more formal fine-dining venue.
The fine-dining menu will be based on his experience, and the flavors and products he’s discovered around the world, while the bistro will offer dishes made from high-quality ingredients but presented in a 'simpler' manner. The latter will also house an adjacent gourmet shop that will sell premium items like housemade foie gras and a curated selection of wines. "You can come and eat one main course or have just one dish if you want something casual."
Don’t pick up your phone to book a table just yet—Maison Dunand will not open until February next year. Chef Arnaud is still working on revamping the Sathorn houses with respect to his Alpine roots—a lot of wood and stone—and renovations could take up to four months.
But the French chef is giving us a glimpse of what to expect—he’s opening a pop-up at Gaggan Anand’s on Soi Sukhumvit 31 from 8 October. During this pre-opening stint, meals will be priced from B2,200 for a four-course lunch and B4,600 for a six-course dinner. Book your seat via Instagram @maisondunandbkk , Line @MaisonDunand, and tel 0988831033
Catch up with Arnaud on Instagram at @arnauddunand.