All chefs say that it starts during childhood…

I grew up in a happy family where the whole house life was gravitating around a large wooden table. Diners meals were not over-complicated, but always made with garden vegetables, meat from the butcher and the desire to do well. I believe my mum gave me the taste for genuine things, a kind of generous simplicity. When I was young I dreamt about becoming a firefighter, veterinary, adventurer, designer. To respect the family tradition I started the pharmacy Uni, before realizing that what I was craving for was something else…

Quickly I found myself at the Ferrandi cooking school where I learnt the basis. The Mother sauces, puff pastry, soufflés, béchamel sauce. Then professional kitchens in restaurants. Thrown in the deep end. My very first chef, Mark Singer took me under his wing, and slowly I found my place in the team. La Maison de l’Aubrac, La Maison Prunier, le Plaza Athénée… I’m lucky enough to meet and work for the most famous chefs ; Alain Ducasse, Jean-Francois Piège, Yannick Alléno, Eric Fréchon… beyond the “savoir faire”, they passed on to me their passion, their sensitivity, their inspiration… and there’s a bit of all of them in the plates I cook nowadays.

I’m often asked to describe my cuisine, to define what is my style. .. And believe me there’s nothing as complicated as that. My roots are French, but I’m inspired by what surrenders me, what I like. My cuisine is reflecting what I am; simple, spontaneous, sincere. It just takes different forms according to circumstances and the mood of the day, but never without gourmandise and generosity.

Because at the end of it, that is the only thing that matters ; pleasure and sharing.

A few dates

1979 Born in Orsay * 1996 Scientific Baccalauréat * 1997 Pharmacy university at Châtenay-Malabry * 1998 «CAP et BEP Cuisine» at the Grégoire Ferrandi culinary school * 1999 Restaurant Maison Prunier * 2000 Bocuse d’Or with Francois Adamski * 2001 Plaza Athénée * 2004 Ritz London * 2006 Hotel le Bristol * 2007 Finalist of the contest « un des meilleurs ouvriers de France » * 2008 Hotel le Meurice * 2010 Hotel de Crillon * 2012 Bocuse de bronze at the «bocuse d’or France» contest * 2012 Hotel Raphael * 2012 Patron of the ONG World Vision * 2013 Judge for the TV show Masterchef * 2013 nominated «Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres» by the French Ministry of Culture * 2015 Hotel Rosewood * 2019 Restaurant Pouliche

© Annabelle Schachmes