One-on-one with…
Andrew Wigger Andrew Wigger

Chef Andrew Wigger: “In my kitchen, everyone contributes ideas and flavours”

At the helm of  Frame, the California-inspired restaurant at the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel hotel, Andrew Wigger develops fresh and colourful cuisine. His menu draws upon the culinary traditions of Mexico, Asia, and France, always reinventing itself with a single goal in mind: a delicate and sublime balance of flavours.
A few hours before the dinner rush, the chef welcomed us to his kitchen, taking some time out for a chat free from pressure but full of passion.
Frame is an emphatically Californian restaurant. How about you?

Before becoming chef at Frame, I spent five years in California, but I'm from Missouri, in the Midwest of the United States. I grew up on a farm where we ate typical local dishes such as barbecued chicken: delicious, but a far cry from Californian cuisine!

How would you describe your culinary journey?

A culinary world tour, you mean! At the end of my training, I became a chef in Kansas City. Then I worked in an Italian restaurant, with a very famous chef in the United States, Lidia Bastianich. Next I joined the team of a restaurant whose chef had worked in Europe and trained with Charlie Trotter, the celebrated Michelin-starred chef. It was the chance of a lifetime for me! Our kitchen offered a mix of French, American and Canadian inspired dishes. After that, I continued my journey by the side of an Irish chef.

How do you like to cook?

For every dish, I try to use ingredients that bring to mind our idea of Californian cuisine. Take the classic cheeseburger: at Frame, we prepare it with a tomato and red pepper jam instead of traditional ketchup, adding some Emmenthal cheese, rocket, paprika...

Tell us more about these home-grown products!

Many of our fruits and vegetables come from our own garden, just behind the hotel. We also have a hen-house. If you order eggs Benedict at brunch, they come from here! We have also installed three beehives, but it is still too early to enjoy their honey.

What are some of the most popular dishes at Frame?

The cheeseburger, of course, and the fish taco. We reinterpreted the Mexican recipe California-style by marinating the fish in lemon, lime, orange and tequila. We serve the fish with guacamole, mango and Chinese cabbage.
"Many of our fruits and vegetables come from our own garden, just behind the hotel."
Andrew Wigger
“A typically French dish, like cassoulet, comes alive with a Mexican touch.”

Do you have specific criteria for a dish to appear on your menu?

No rules! In my team, I have French, Portuguese, Cambodian and Indian cooks… From the beginning of my adventure at Frame, I asked to everybody to contribute ideas, flavours and desires. Every week, they present me with a potential dish for the restaurant. Then I try to enhance the Californian aspect so that it can be included on the menu. A typically French dish like cassoulet can come alive with a Mexican touch, or even combined with Asian flavours! The important things are fresh ingredients and the blend of influences. Next, we test the recipe until the whole team approves. Only then can we know that it will be a success with our clients! A Californian cassoulet, it's tempting, n'est-ce pas?

Frame - Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
The Frame experience starts with the restaurant's interior design. 
The room is bathed in natural light thanks to the large bay windows facing the Eiffel Tower side and has imposing high ceilings. 
There, food is arranged on plates with special care given to shapes and colors that reflect the balance of flavors so dear to Chef Wigger.
The products are as good to look at as they are to eat, because they are so fresh: the tomatoes, salads, California cabbage (Kale), etc. have often been picked the very same morning in the restaurant's own vegetable garden. 
205 plant varieties grow there, in accordance with the seasons and with no pesticides. 
At Frame, Californian food is synonymous with healthy food!

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