18km from Luxemburg City, Esch-sur-Alzette is the second largest town in the Grand Duchy. This is where in 2008, Fabrice Salvador, a cheery and courageous Toulousain laid his Chef’s hat. Less than one year later this proud Gascon’s efforts were rewarded with a Michelin star.
The story takes place in a region that hasn’t always been blessed with great fortune; both in terms of its history and its weather. This is a region which drags a host of deep-seated clichés in its wake: low, heavy skies, grey buildings and working class poverty. And yet Esch-sur-Alzette, which neighbours the French Lorraine, is the second largest city in Luxemburg - a country where life is sweet and VAT is low. This is where Fabrice Salvador, a cheerful and courageous Toulousain, leaving behind his beloved city, laid his Chef’s hat in 2008. Then less than a year later this proud Gascon’s efforts were rewarded with a Michelin star.
This young man is truly talented. His career began in his native town of Toulouse at the Jardins de l’Opéra in 1996 before he joined the three-starred Maison Troisgros in Roanne, the Trois Marches de Gérard Vié and Michel Guérard’s Prés d’Eugénie. Fabrice Salvador then lived out what he calls his “American dream” first in New Orleans, followed by Santa Barbara. It was a time of sun, beaches and freedom... However the Motherland is always one’s true love, and with her sweet, beckoning words whispering in his ears, our Frenchman who had trained as a pastry chef found himself listening.
So by 2003 he had returned and was working at the Table du Lancaster, Maison Troisgros, where he received his first Michelin star.
Five years passed before Salvador’s childhood dream of setting up his own establishment eventually came true. The Influences des Saveurs was born, where the chef, in conjunction with his restaurant manager, Arnaud Garnier, offer seasonally inspired melodies of modern cuisine. Here taste takes priority over pretence and purchasing from small producers (such as Annie Bertin’s organic vegetables) is preferred.
Now close your eyes and be silent for a moment... What does the Chalosse pan-fried foie gras and braised Soissons haricot beans conjure up for you? Don’t you taste something of a Southern influence? And what about the Wild Sea Bass in Coconut curry sauce? This dish feels like we’re sailing into unchartered, distant territory. Simply sampling its perfect texture and delicate flavour evokes scenes of coconut palm leaves rustling in the breeze. Could this have something to do with the fact his wife, Dwi, is Indonesian?
Perhaps, but that’s another story...
Influences des Saveurs
118, rue de Belvaux l- 4026 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxemburg