chef residencies in restaurants continue to gain followers

11:00 p.m., September 20, 2022

It was a cheeky concept that, when it was born, scared investors. Imagine: a fixed restaurant for “flying” chefs, who come to test their vocation for a few weeks, sharpen their knives, rub shoulders with the management of a brigade, the design of their first menus before setting off again for new horizons. Ten years after their appearance in France, “chefs’ residences” have become well established in the landscape, far from traditional kitchens. These formulas allow chefs to take the plunge with a safety net: no investment or administrative management, the residence takes care of it for them. Since the first place of its kind in 2010, similar concepts have developed, to the delight of customers who can taste the cuisine of young chefs in the making.

Fulgurances, the pioneer

“The second will be the first. » This is the idea, in 2010, of Sophie Cornibert and Hugo Hivernat: to shed light on the cooks in the shadows who officiate behind chefs who are already recognized. After 60 such dinners, including the first with Sam Miller (the second with René Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen), they treat themselves, with Rebecca Asthalter, to their first restaurant: it will be Fulgurances L’Adresse (Paris 11th). Since 2015, 16 chefs have taken turns there every six months. Some have opened their own establishment or continued to dig their atypical furrow on the fringes of traditional structures: Chloé Charles, Tamir Nahmias, Céline Pham, etc. The concept has taken off: Fulgurances L’Entrepôt (Paris 14th) in 2019 and an address in New York (Laundromat) in 2021. At the moment, you can taste the packaged cuisine of the Australian Max Tuckwell at L’Entrepôt, who started at Fulgurances in 2015 as a diver!

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Mokoloco, the discreet

The discreet but brilliant Moko Hirayama and Omar Koreitem were still in the kitchen of their “‘dwicherie” Mokoloco (Paris 11th) a short time ago. Was it the influence of the Covid that made them change their formula? They have in any case decided to transform their establishment into a residence, while they continue to work at the helm of their first restaurant, the renowned Mokonuts (Paris 11th). They leave the keys to young chefs, but not just any: cooks who share their values ​​and their commitments. After the Levantine influences of Johann Barichasse, it is the Italian Stefano De Carli, former second for the neighbor Giovanni Passerini, who opens the season.

* 74, rue de Charonne (Paris 11th).

Le Perchoir, the most hype

Céline Pham, Adrien Cachot, Manon Fleury… The most desirable chefs of the moment hoist their knives up to the Perchoir Ménilmontant – one of the very first Parisian rooftops, opened in 2013. These young chefs without a fixed restaurant come to appropriate its decor stripped down and trendy, with its large zinc, its parquet floor and its raw walls, which they decorate in their own image. Le Perchoir has become a group: their terraces with sofas and cocktails are also deployed at the Porte de Versailles, in the Marais, at the Gare de l’Est and in Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine). In Ménilmontant, the committed chef Manon Fleury goes the extra mile with a menu inspired by plants (but not exclusively).​

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Rhezome, the latest

The address opened this week and aims to offer a “participatory kitchen” in connection with the associations and the inhabitants of the Faidherbe district (Paris 11th). Imagined by Jean-François Pascal, who was jumbled up as a philosophy teacher, gallery owner and communicator, Rhezome hosts residences for chefs but not only: craftsmen offer their products and creations there, such as the ceramists who supply the restaurant’s dishes. To open the ball in the kitchen: Alice Arnoux, who worked for Alexandre Couillon in Noirmoutier, Noma in Copenhagen and other restaurants in residence such as Fulgurances.

35, rue Faidherbe (Paris 11th).

We Are Ona, the international pop-up

It took a Noma veteran, sommelier and restaurateur, to imagine such a culinary UFO. Luca Pronzato invented We Are Ona (“wave” in Catalan), which aims to explode the traditional uses of the restaurant to bring new “experiences” to customers, often in partnership with a sommelier. As a result, We Are Ona installs its ephemeral pop-ups in unique places, in many countries and with young chefs. He leaves them the freedom to create according to their personality. Latest events, Antoine Villard’s pop-up, in stables in Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) this summer and another at Paris Design Week in recent days, with Robert Mendoza (Le Saint-Sébastien) for a six-course menu inspired by the ocean.

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