Born in a suburb minutes outside Paris (Issy les Moulineaux) on April 8, 1963, Philippe Batton, would join the world of Culinary Art at the remarkably young age of 16-years old.
He applied for and obtained a two-year apprentice position working/learning/studying under the ranks of a great Chef like Bernard Noel at the Tour de Montlhéry in one of Paris' most colorful and lively districts, Les Halles.
In 1981, directly following his apprenticeship, Philippe continued to pursue his culinary vocation (thank goodness for all of us who enjoy his delicious fare today!) It was at this time that Philippe's unique culinary talents earned him the tremendous opportunity to perfect his skills working at the infamous, four-star luxury Hotel George V in the heart of Paris, but more importantly he earned the chance to work with the renowned Parisian chef, Pierre Larapidie.
Following five consecutive years at the prestigious Hotel George V, Philippe was obliged to take a year long leave of absence from the "cuisine" in order to fulfill his State-mandated military service (mandatory in France from 1798 until 1996). Philippe was a member of the French Army's 35th Elite Artillery-Parachutist Regime based in Tarbes, France and later deployed to Africa.
Upon completion of his military obligations, Philippe returned to Paris and his passion for cooking. It was at this stage in his career that "our" Philippe met another critically-acclaimed chef, also named Philippe, Philippe Groult. This meeting would prove to be fruitful for both Philippes. They not only formed a mentor/protégé professional relationship but a long-lasting friendship, too. Chef Groult asked Philippe to join himself as well as a team of chefs at Paris' illustrious Manoir de Paris restaurant, where he continued to acquire expertise and became a vital member of the kitchen staff.
In 1986, Philippe Groult would present Philippe Batton with an exciting business opportunity that would later prove to be a crucial turning point in Philippe's career. Philippe was asked to make his first (and no doubt memorable!) trip to Japan in order to represent Chef Groult at La Vague restaurant in Kobe.
Timing is everything. Unfortunately, while Philippe was enjoying his new work environment, charm, beauty, exoticism and overall uniqueness that is Japan, his mentor back in Paris needed his help and respectfully requested Philippe return to Paris to manage the kitchens in Chef Groult's new establishment l'Amphycles. Under Philippe's management, The Amphycles was awarded two "macarons" by the Michelin Guide (*only 65 restaurants throughout the world have received and maintained this honor).
In 1989, Philippe embarked on a personal challenge, wanting to gain as much gastronomical experience as possible and having already been bitten by the travel bug, Philippe left Paris for England where his talents did not remain "foreign" for long. He was hired almost immediately at the Langdale Hotel in the "Lake District" to supervise their kitchens]; he remained in the UK for one year before getting homesick, ironically NOT for his native France, but for JAPAN!.
Once contaminated, the only way to rid one's self of "Nippon Fever" is to move to the magnifique archipelago! Understanding this, Philippe's good friend and mentor Philippe Groult supported Philippe's return to Japan in 1990 in exchange for his culinary expertise as head chef at the Palazzo Restaurant located in the Royal Park Hotel, where he remained for five years.
Having acquired significant experience and having built himself a laudable reputation in the French/Japanese culinary community, Philippe felt capable of taking over the reins at the Evelyne Restaurant in Tokyo.
His cuisine met with critical acclaim, and it was not long before customers were patronizing the restaurant exclusively for Philippe's cuisine, adding to his ever-growing success and solidifying his reputation. It was at this time that Philippe prevailed over Chef Sakai on the televised cooking show entitled "RYORI no TETSUJIN".
In 1998, Philippe participated in the launching of "Le Petit Bedon" as Chef and Manager. Under Philippe's direction "Le Petit Bedon" became one of Tokyo's most popular restaurants and a "must" among gastronomic aficionados until Philippe's departure in 2003.
Philippe created the concept of a Parisian-style Bistro in Tokyo and opened one of what would soon become three bistros all named "LE PETIT TONNEAU" (little wine barrel) located in KUDANSHITA, TORANOMON, AZABUJUBAN, respectively.
The rapid success Le Petit Tonneau KUDANSHITA experienced triggered the inauguration of the second Petit Tonneau just one short year later in 2003 located in the TORANOMON section of Tokyo.
In 2006, the third Petit Tonneau situated in AZABUJUBAN.
In addition to his numerous responsibilities running three restaurants, Philippe makes it a point to keep up-to-date on all events with respect to the French Culinary Art scene in Japan.
For example, from 1996 – 2004, Philippe was designated President of the Japanese chapter of the French Association of Chefs & Pastry Chefs (l'Amicale des Cuisiniers et Pâtissiers français au Japon).
Philippe also travels extensively throughout Japan visiting culinary schools as a guest speaker, teacher or lecturer doing his best to transmit his knowledge of French Culinary Art and Culture.
Attending most gastronomical events that take place in hotels and restaurants all over Japan, Philippe is often solicited as a culinary consultant even when he is there as an attendee and not a direct participant in some of these events.
In addition to his culinary accomplishments, Philippe has also authored several cookbooks intended to assist and simplify Japanese homemakers with their gastronomical tasks.
Philippe would like to make a worthy contribution promoting French gastronomy around the world, making it accessible to all.
His efforts in this area have not gone unnoticed. In 1998, the President of the French Republic awarded Philippe with "La Croix de Chevalier dans l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole". The actual medal (cross) was presented to him personally by the Agricultural Minister, Monsieur LePinsec. The French agricultural industry rarely bestows such a prestigious award to Chefs so early on in their careers as Philippe was at the time.