It was the move from Paris to his parents’ countryside home in Touraine that brought cooking into Christophe’s life. Baking was more fun than baseball for the teen, and so he chose the kitchen over the sportsfield, starting his journey in the culinary world.After working for a decade in small, traditional restaurants in and around Touraine, Christophe returned to Paris when he turned 25. Back in the city, he realised cooking was his passion and he became serious about the craft, applying to work in some of the best Parisian kitchens.After gaining experience at Ledoyen, Lasserre, Pierre Gagnaire and the Bristol, the chef had an impressive resume. However, Christophe still felt he lacked something in his career, until he worked under Bruno Cirino at Royal Macau. Here, his confidence blossomed and his passion for the craft was reignited. This led to Christophe becoming Executive Chef of the Royal Macau in 2003.Four years later, Christophe opened his own Paris restaurant, La Bigarrade. Here, the chef worked alongside Giuliano Sperandio to serve up delicious dishes to an audience of only 20 seats. It wasn’t long before the Michelin Guide took note of the chefs and awarded La Bigarrade with 2 Michelin stars. After pushing the 75 sqm space to its limits, Christophe needed a new challenge, and he left La Bigarrade to become a consultant in Hong Kong, working alongside Frédéric Pénaud. This allowed him to also spend more time with his daughter while she grew up.In 2015, the Chef decided to return to cooking, and moved back to Paris to helm the kitchen of Le Clarence. With Le Clarence’s location in the Chef’s backyard, situated in the same district as that of the top restaurant’s he trained in, this area is as familiar to him as the back of his hand.Thus, Christophe makes the most of his surrounds, visiting markets nearby in search of new flavours and producers to use in his cooking. Although his mind may be curious when it comes to flavors, his cooking is straightforward, agile, precise and composed. The excellence of his cuisine at Le Clarence has once again been acknowledged by the Michelin guide, and was awarded 2 Michelin stars in 2017.The chef’s skill doesn’t only lie in the kitchen, however, as he also holds a talent for pairing food and wine, as well as finding harmony in the best of land and sea. The chef uses these skills to create an unrivalled dining experience that highlights the finest seasonal ingredients matched perfectly with the most beautiful rare and prestigious wines from their cellar. The 19th century Parisian townhouse setting of Le Clarence that exudes elegance and opulence is the perfect backdrop for the sophisticated dining experience provided by Christophe and his team.
- Elected as Chef of the Year 2018 by Gilles Pudlowiski
- 2 Michelin Stars for Le Clarence
- First Place in Le Classement Des Grands De Paris 2018
FOUR Questions with Christophe
Describe your culinary philosophy in FOUR words:
If I had to describe my culinary philosophy, I could say: generous, fresh, instinctive and spontaneous.
What is your greatest inspiration?
My inspiration is nature, producers and winegrowers of course. But, I would like to precise that my daily environment (in particular the city, its urbanism, its effervescence) is also a great inspiration as well as my weekends in Brittany, where I can breathe, relax and unwind.
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
I would like to go to Taiwan, discover and enjoy the street food, learn about this culture.
What FOUR items would you take to a desert island?
It is a bit difficult to choose only four things… I would say:
- a spiritual book to nourish and elevate my spirit
- a knife to fish, hunt, harvest and eat
- a lot of matchsticks
- a flask of peated whisky or calva, full of flavors.
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