Three Reasons to Experience a Remarkable Chef: Part 2

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Symbols, stars, numbers, and other restaurant rating systems can provide a culinary relief map of a city, but they’re inadequate in revealing the particular interest of dining out in one restaurant or chez one chef over another. A few well-chosen words go much further in whetting the appetite for experiencing a chef and his restaurant.

France Revisited therefore asked Fabien Nègre, a gastronomic portraitist and culinary philosopher who has interviewed more than 50 of the most celebrated chefs in France over the past few years, to give us three good reasons to experience some of the most respected (and stellar) chefs working in France today.

This is the second of a 3-part series examining a total of 12 chefs. The first two parts cover eight chefs whose principal main restaurant in Paris, the last part concerns chefs working elsewhere in France. Fabien’s “three reasons” appear below in their original French and in English.

The letter beside chef’s name corresponds to the location on the map (coming soon) where the chef has his main restaurant. This is not a ranking, so the order below has no particular significance.

Born 1962
Arriving in Paris in mid-2011 to oversee gastronomy at Mandarin Oriental, 247-251 rue Saint Honoré, 1st arr.

1. The embrace of silence in such a singular way to disrupt our habits of ways of eating and our habits of consuming.
L’étreinte du silence dans une façon si singulière de bousculer nos manières de bouche et nos pratiques de consommation.

2. A diplomatic personality inclined toward meditation and action.
Une personnalité politique encline à la méditation et à l’action.

3. A culinary vision of the world.
Une vision culinaire du monde.

Born 1957
Le Grand Véfour, 17 rue de Beaujolais, 1st arrondissement, Paris. Tel. 01 42 96 56 27.

1. A gastronomy of goodness in an ultra-historical setting.
Une gastronomie de bonté dans un cadre ultra historique.

2. The service of a great establishment.
Un service de grande maison.

3. A jewel case of centuries past.
Un écrin des siècles passés.

Born 1972
Le Chateaubriand, 129 avenue Parmentier, 11th arrondissement, Paris. Metro Goncourt. 01 43 57 45 95.

1. The joy of being elbow-to-elbow in a fashionable Parisian bistro.
La joie du coude à coude de bistrot hype parisien.

2. An art of cooking that’s sometimes brutally sophisticated that aspires to a kind of jazz.
Une cuisine parfois brutalement sophistiquée qui cherche une forme de jazz.

3. An atmosphere, a pleasure to drink natural wines.
Une ambiance, une joie de goûter des vins naturels.

Born 1978
Spring, 6 rue Bailleul, 1st arrondissement, Paris. Tel. 01 45 96 05 72.

1. An American from Chicago so Parisian and so planetary.
Un américain de Chicago si parisien et si planétaire.

2. A light elegance, well-thought and well-weighed taste, airy.
Une élégance légère, un haut goût pensé et pesé, aérien.

3. Not a feast but the last feast!
Non pas une fête mais la dernière fête !

Fabien Nègre is a gastronomic portraitist, culinary philosopher, and media content producer.
Translation and introduction by Gary Lee Kraut.


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