Working kitchens, or rather visible kitchens, are a growing trend. The image above was taken at 0740 in Paris’ rue Castiglione, immediately opposite WESTIN PARIS. Interestingly it’s a satellite kitchen for celeb patissier Cedric Grolet, star of Dorchester Collection’s LE MEURICE, about 10m away (Grolet also has an outpost at Maybourne’s THE BERKELEY: it is rumoured that he wanted to operate in London, approached THE DORCHESTER but the then-GM, who did not, actually, last much longer, turned him down so Grolet went to a competitor).
Actually when it comes to Parisien hotels François Perret, of RITZ PARIS, is most famous patissier. He has a third of a million followers on Instagram and he and his celebrate food truck are in New York right now, shooting his second Netflix series. Back at base, Ritz Paris re-opened L’Espadon two weeks ago, in a new and more-intimate location, still spilling out into the inner garden when the weather so allows. It’s an exquisite space, entered via a short tunnel lined, it seems, with Lalique sprayed palest cream. White-dressed tables have all-white porcelain. At the far end a big window allows full view of Eugenie Beziat and her brigade, all pristine whites. They are producing dishes for the tasting menus. The five-course, at €290, is basically tomato, oyster, poultry, lobster and corn. An additional €100 gives eight completely different courses, cucumber, artichoke, brill, red mullet, poultry, lobster, honeys and a final chocolate soufflé.
At Ritz Paris’ breakfast, in the former L’Espadon, everything is prepared out of sight. But honestly watching preparation of an omelette is not as educational as watching La Beziat, who admits her current poultry dishes, on both menus, are inspired by yassa, prepared per fumum, with acidity of lemon, and black onions’ balsamic notes. For the uninitiated, who until now included Girlahead, yassa is the Senegalese culinary speciality, marinating protein in lemon, lots of onions, and vinegar.
Start a thought process on visible kitchens, and see where in the world it goes, says ‘Emily’ in Paris.