May 16, 2023 - Food and Drink

Last Meal with Lilac chef John Fraser

Photo illustration of a place setting shaped like a skull and crossbones containing a photo of Chef John Fraser.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Courtesy of Lilac

Chef John Fraser is taking Tampa's food scene to a whole new level.

State of play: Less than a year after opening Mediterranean fine dining restaurant Lilac at the Tampa Edition in Water Street, Fraser's food artistry earned the restaurant one of Tampa's first Michelin stars.

We wanted to know what a guy with such exquisite taste would eat if he only had one meal left.

The venue: L'Arpège, a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris where he previously worked under chef Alain Passard.

  • "It's one of the restaurants that made me who I am as a cook, so it would put a bowtie on my life experience."

🥕 The main course: A spring-tasting menu with Passard's fresh veggies, harvested straight from his gardens. "He does incredible things with asparagus."

  • "The lore of his farm is that he has the vegetables picked in the morning, they go on a high-speed train and are in Paris for lunch service. Super fresh."
  • "He's not trying to turn a pea into a piece of corn. There's a reverence for the vegetable instead of trying to transform it into something it's not meant to be."

🥧 Dessert: Mille-feuille, a tower of crispy puff pastry layers.

  • "You can't not make a mess of your table with it. I love moments like that in fine dining where you're supposed to be buttoned up and not too loud and this breaks through. The inner child is excited by that experience."

🍷 Nightcap: "A Premier Cru white burgundy while we're at it, to make it totally unattainable." (A single bottle of the wine can run you upwards of $2,000.)

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