Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Marc Meneaudraws his inspiration for his Michelin star restaurant, L’Espérancefrom childhood memories and his native Burgundy.Chef Meneau is helping to move French cuisine forward by creating modern versions of traditional recipes.

He studied with André Guillot at L’Auberge de Marly and is yet self-taught devouring books by gastronomes such as Apicius, Taillevent, La Varenne, Viard, Carême, Brillat-Savarin and many others. With L’Espérance, a generous restaurant with a personality all of its own, he has won all manner of distinctions.

Three Questions with Marc Meneau

What was your most moving culinary experience?

My first meal with my Master André Guillot at the “Vieux Marly” in Marly Le Roi where I discovered real feuilletés, light sauces and the first meat jus deglazed with water.

The most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?

During an evening dinner, themed around 18th and 19th century cuisine, we reproduced a Talleyrand-style stuffed dish, which involved serving a whole wild salmon. The waiter caught his foot on the carpet and the salmon fell into pieces on the floor. The guests hooted with laughter when they saw their meal on the ground.
A single clap of the hands from the Maître d’Hôtel, and a second whole salmon made its appearance. What a relief for the guests!

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs?

Before you make a recipe, read it over thoroughly and add or take away what you think is necessary. That will help you learn how the dish is put together and you’ll find it easier to make.

  • Two Michelin stars
  • Meilleur Cuisinier de l’Année, 1983 |Gault-Millau
  • Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, 1985
  • Chevalier (Knight) of theNational Order of Merit, 1987
  • Officer (Officier) of theNational Order of Merit, 1993
  • Chevalier (Knight) of theLegion of Honour, 1998
  • 19/20 | Gault & Millau


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