Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Gérald Passédat is at the helm of three Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Petit Nice. His cuisine encompasses his love for Mediterranean food and, as he says demonstrates "a loving respect for what is natural and simplicity in how it is prepared to give that delicious feeling of being immersed in the Mediterranean sea".
His grandfather, Germain Passédat purchased Villa Corinthe in 1917, and immediately renamed it Le Petit Nice. After training at hotel management school, then at Le Coq Hardi in Bougival, at Le Bristol, then at Le Crillon in Paris, eighteen months at Troisgros, and then a year with Michel Guérard, he returned to work with his father in 1984, and little by little began took charge of Le Petit Nice. The restaurant had received a first Michelin star in 1977, a second one in 1981, and a third under Chef Passédat in 2008. Two years later he was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
What was your most moving culinary experience?
A nage of seafood at Chapel’s restaurant with my parents in 1975. And, in 1980, Jean Troisgros’ Fleurie sauce lightly spiced with anchovies. A revelation as these ingredients had never been combined before.
The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
In 1983 with a whole team of cooks – Jean-Michel Lorain, Christophe Cussac, Michel Troisgros – I prepared, live, on one of the major US networks, a caramelised red fruit soup. During the broadcast, I prepared the caramel with a blow torch live on TV, there was a flame a foot long! I was concentrating on my English, at the expense of the recipe. Then I whipped one I’d prepared earlier out of the drawer. Everyone burst into laughter. A great memory!
Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?
Follow your instincts at the market and prepare what takes your fancy with your family. Have fun doing so.
- 3 Michelin stars
- Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, 2010
Anse de Maldormé,
13007 Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône)
Tel.: + 33 (0)4 91 59 25 92