Yann Bernard LEJARD is Director of Culinary and Food and Beverage at the Ritz Carlton, Bahrain. He supervises 14 F&B concept outlets with around 240 members of employees. Founder of Yannesque the brand and the Culinary Art Movement.
To inspire art through the discipline of cooking and bring the joy of art into every kitchen.
To raise the levels of creativity and innovation ambitiously in the culinary arts and continue to inspire people around the world with the highest levels of skill and technique that never fail to mesmerize.
“For us, cuisine is about products, ingredients and seasonality along with respect to its source, therefore nurturing the elements and elevating them to their paroxysm.”
Being second to none in this unique new platform, we aim to inspire chefs and artists around the world—to bring more art and various inspiring tools into the culinary world.
I would like my art to be remembered as a moment of completeness and grace.
Born in France, at an early age, he has always been inspired by some of the greatest artists of our time Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock—whom he took cues from in creating his signature, abstract style that illustrates food as a form of artistic expression.
His passion, experience and continued interest in the world of culinary and art has led him to the conception of Yannesque, a pioneering culinary movement that seeks to establish food as a creative art form of its own, which has since gained a substantial following from both art and food connoisseurs.
From the development of his own culinary art movement and book, staging live performances in international art galleries and museum exhibitions, his work continues to be influential worldwide.
In 2020, his career highlights include redesigning and upgrading food offers in all F&B outlets, launching of five pop-up concepts at the hotel’s beach front venue, opening of Le Potager, an organic garden where all vegetables are sourced from, implementing a kosher kitchen, and leading the Abraham Accord signing ceremony dinner.
When his mother saw his works for the first time, she exclaimed, “This reminds me of the day of his birth when he came to life, it was an explosion”. They had to call back the maternity nurses and the cleaning department to reorganize and clean the entire delivery room.
Do you ever remember having this feeling (like my mother did), of being in a different world, of your own world?
It started with an introspection, a recall of childhood, character, emotion, the sensibility, and hypersensitivity. Then reliving weaknesses, the dark side and how to incorporate them into work.
We decided everything must go, starting from the beginning. Imposing the opposite of the understandable and erasing the absorbed knowledge. We have defined the soul to do the rest. The movement started a deep extrovert emotion, coming out from the eternal soul and kicking away frustrations. We become an artistic version and vision of a known portrait.
We contemplate and now understand that 99 percent of our work is improvisation. It is only when the feeling of emptiness and the short-suspended time punch us that the unexpected can happen. It is only when retrenched in the unknown and frightening that alchemy comes to life. Perhaps this is pretentious, but it is immeasurably true.
Rapidly, emptiness becomes space, rigidity becomes movement, line becomes curve, darkness becomes colors, mess becomes concentration, and rage becomes obsession.
When we discovered art to communicate with the world, it sped up the psychological process to bring mesmerizing avant-garde originality as a way to create. And with the concrete results of this process, it has influenced and transformed the perception and the understanding of the art of cooking.
The natural correlation of the elementary ingredients and products brings endless possibilities and a mixture of textures, viscosity, sinuosity, and solid and liquid state. Space is the key, while the past, present and future are the source.
We built the foundation of a deep elaborated work on the material of the element and the careful use of all the components. Our natural talent for improvisation coupled with this work is the confirmed evidence of this elementary association. Today, it is enabling us to create an indefinite number of artworks.
Our inspiration is the essence of our artistic expression. We have defined the extreme situations and stressful moments that build the capacity of finding the imaginative location of our unsuspected instinctive knowledge, where our passion and desire come to life—thus we were born twice.
When you arrive at an end, that’s where you imagine a beginning. We define the origin of the movement from our first birth, with a pronounced sense of non-compliance and non-understanding of an unaccepted reality. The intention of the creation seemed like the blossoming of an unusual flower that needed to be uprooted from an infertile soil. Resilient, the seed will emerge from the dark to contemplate the light ambitiously.
When the light disappears, night comes and another cycle is repeated. We were patient, we were looking and waiting for that unique moment to appear. It happened one day or one night, maybe, in the most unexpected place and under the moon, we saw beauty. This was our second birth.
The Yannesque Culinary Art Movement represents the hope of the creative act, the idea of elevating the discipline of cooking and plating to the level of art. An intense fervor and inner fire guide us from this day to explore and always materialize our contemporary conception of cooking.
Consistently analyzing our theory, we continue to reimagine our achievements. We project ourselves into the unexpected to think differently than the mass. We reinvent ourselves constantly with one word in mind-dare. Using single or multiple vibrant colors follows the lines of breathing, thus we are expressing life and the way we live it.
We exist because we stand for a distinctive approach-challenging uniformity and creating the food of tomorrow. Our angles of reflection stimulate the mind to create ingenious products for a modern world. The precursor direction of our work has always been to astonish observers with an intriguing visual satisfaction.
Pioneering the philosophical progress and results, we express cooking and plating like human existence, along with our joy and emotions as its creators.