On this month's episode of Culinary Journeys we follow French chef Helene Darroze to Edinburgh, where she samples a traditional Scottish dish -- haggis. Show premieres September 4 on CNN International at 1630 BST/1730 CET and 2330 BST/0030 CET. Learn more about the show here: CNN.com/journeys.
(CNN)With two eponymous Michelin-starred restaurants in London and Paris, multiple awards including a Legion of Honor, as well as two adopted children to raise, you'd forgive Helene Darroze for thinking she had more than enough on her plate.
The 48-year-old star chef also found time to provide the inspiration for "Colette" in everyone's favorite culinary cartoon, "Ratatouille."
"I grew up in this world of authenticity with food."
Her parents ran a one Michelin-starred restaurant in the small town of Villeneuve-de-Marsan.
It was also the starting point of Darroze's commitment to using only the best produce, something that's stayed with her throughout her stellar career.
"My memories as a child are very simple: everything was focused on the produce," she says.
"That was the way my family cooked, to choose the best.
"I remember all these farmers coming every morning with the poultry, the eggs, the vegetables or with mushrooms when it was the season.
"So I was confronted with this reality of the seasons, of the produce which give you the rules. That's how I cook."
Hotels and bad boys
On the menu: Scallops with cauliflower and hazelnut couscous, cauliflower mousseline, garlic emulsion and parsley jus.
Despite a seemingly predestined culinary path, Darroze graduated from the prestigious L'Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Bordeaux Business School.
"In France in the '80s when you were a good student you didn't go in the kitchen for an apprenticeship -- in fact only the bad boys learned how to be a chef!" she says.
As she wanted to enter the world of hotel management, she wrote to the legendary chef Alain Ducasse at the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco's Hotel de Paris.
He offered her a place in the office but, after some time, encouraged her to also work in the kitchen.
"Ducasse was the only chef on the weekends, he didn't have any other restaurants so he was always around in the kitchen."
After this extraordinary culinary exposure, her father gave her the keys to the kitchen of the family-run restaurant in 1995, an offer she couldn't refuse and one that Ducasse supported, on one condition.
"If you go back, you stay in the kitchen," he told her.
She wasn't exactly convinced.
"I said 'are you crazy? That's not possible, I've never been to culinary school, I don't have the skills, the base' and he said 'trust me, you can do it, I've seen you and you can do it.'"