Chef’s have a tough life. If Bradley Cooper’s knuckle busting, ego fueled quest for a Michelin Star in Burnt is anything to go by, it’s Hollywood drama tough. However one guy makes it look deceptively easy. Jérôme Banctel is the Head Chef of the newly opened restaurant Le Gabriel (found at La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa) and has done more within 12 months than others do in a lifetime by earning the restaurant not one, but two, Michelin Stars. Incredible! and that’s not fiction.
Le Gabriel’s rise among the ranks of Paris’s top eats is stratospheric and its performance can be judged by the red carpet crowd, fresh off the Champs-Élysées, who walk into it every night. The attention is expected. La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa is Michel Reybier’s latest property and just like the rest of the hospitality group, there’s an atmosphere and reputation that those in the know (and those who want to be) can’t help getting drawn to.
It’s not all in the name though, not just La Réserve’s at least, for though the restaurant and hotel are new, its Head Chef, has been in the game for a while. Apprenticed under the likes of Alain Senderens, Christian Constant (Hôtel de Crillon) and after a stint in Japan, Chef Banctel brings a lot of experience to the table and was always set to deliver great things. But no one could anticipate anything this great.
Blue Lobster, Onion Carbonara, bittersweet reduction
Though Banctel’s achievement is mind blowing, his next challenge is making sure it’s no flash in the pan. Such an incredible rise needs to be firmly grounded, and the foundations of Banctel’s “mojo” are found in menu items that epicures are well weaned on. It’s the usual suspects: blue lobster, toothfish, pigeon etc… but this reluctance to take his cuisine on flights of fancy or anything too avant-garde belies an imaginative chef whose creative tweaks elevate his dishes into a Michelin star experience every night.
A simple entree of green asparagus and cucumber finds itself transformed with a dash of zesty yuzu kosho seasoning, the Vendée pigeon marinaded in cocoa and served with buckwheat tagliatelle is already a classic and the flavorsome veal sweetbread with sage gnocchi brims with character in a menu that aims to make every bite feel like the first, no matter how many times you sit at the table. Which we hope is often in our case.
Vendée pigeon,cocoa,buckwheat tagliatelle
Duck foie gras with yuzu sauce