In France, food is part of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage, so it’s no surprise that the nation’s capital is home to some of the best chefs in the world. We take a look at the talented cuisiniers behind some of the most exclusive and delicious restaurants in Paris
Parisian chefs are known as some of the best in the world, thanks to the global appeal and reputation of French cooking, but also as a result of the top gourmets’ efforts in the field of culinary wizardry. Indeed, in 2010 gastronomy was declared by Unesco to be part of France’s ‘intangible cultural heritage’.
While the trendiest food hotspots in recent years might be Tokyo or the Nordic region, the chefs of the French capital can be counted upon to deliver the highest quality cuisine that is innovative while remaining true to the country’s traditional dishes. From three Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic to Cyril Lignac, a celebrity chef on the rise, the cuisiniers from Paris will astound and delight in equal measure.
Alain Passard’s eatery Arpège opened in 1986 and earned its first and second Michelin stars in the two years that followed, with a third following on the restaurant’s 10th anniversary. In 2016 Arpège celebrated keeping its three-star status for 20 years, and it continues to draw diners in their droves. Utilising ingredients grown within Arpège’s three vegetable gardens, the restaurant offers a 12-course seasonal vegetable tasting menu as well as a similarly stunning option for meat eaters. One thing you must try is the patented Passard bouquet de roses dessert – an apple tart with swirled slices of fruit that give the impression of the most regal of blooms.
Arpège, 84 rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, +33 (0)1 4705 0906
La Dame de Pic
The sleek interior of La Dame de Pic provides the perfect backdrop to chef extraordinaire Anne-Sophie Pic’s impressive culinary creations. The four-course Menu Plaisir (‘pleasure menu’) offers two starters followed by a meat or fish dish and a dessert, and with the Gourmet menu you get both main course options. Recent dishes include blue mackerel marinated in smoked Lapsang Souchong tea, served with risotto Acquerello and celery, Limousin veal in the spirit of a Wellington with anchovy fillets, young chard from Provence, tonka beans and Limoncello-infused jus. Pic has been taking the culinary world by storm, so there has never been a better time to visit her namesake Paris outpost.
La Dame de Pic, 20 rue du Louvre, 75001 Paris, +33 (0)1 4260 4040
Situated a stone’s throw from Parc André Citroën, Le Quinzième is one of four restaurants from French celebrity chef Cyril Lignac. The gourmet creations here, served in two exceptional tasting menus of four and seven courses, update traditional concepts of French gastronomy. The menus are seasonal, but recent dishes have included Brittany lobster with potato gnocchi, lobster cream and wild pepper from Madagascar, Bernard Antony cheese with salad and toasted bread, and a dessert of Ecuadorian chocolate mousse with praline ice cream and crunchy hazelnut cocoa. Lignac has amassed an epicurean empire, with five patisseries and one chocolaterie to his name, alongside his quartet of restaurants.
Le Quinzième, 14 rue Cauchy, 75015 Paris, +33 (0)1 4554 4343
Known for being a specialist in molecular gastronomy, Thierry Marx applies his own personal brand of edible theatre to the menu at Camélia. There is a weekday lunch set menu, the Daily Marx, as well as an evening tasting menu and an à la carte selection. From starters including sea bass tartare with guacamole, radishes and Siokombu condiment, to mains of Aubrac beef with scamorza, tomatoes and smoked aubergine caviar, every dish is well balanced and beautifully presented. Round off your meal with a selection of cheeses from Mons and be sure to book a table on the magical terrace for a truly unforgettable evening.
Camélia, Mandarin Oriental Paris, 251 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, +33 (0)1 7098 7888