Monday whispers: Jean Imbert and his new fans, Michelin 2022: the rumor Michaël Arnoult, Alain Dutournier at Trou Gascon, Alain Ducasse promotes female chefs, do you know Koji Arima? Strasbourg: the new deal for Yvonne, Guillaume Royer en Auxois | Gilles Pudlowski’s blog

Jean Imbert and his new fans

Jean Imbert seen by Vito Ansaldi for Pomelo

They are all crazy about it! Since he opened the large table that bears his name in the Régence room of the Plaza Athénée, which recently housed Alain Ducasse and his “naturalness”, compliments have been pouring in for Jean Imbert and his recreation of dishes from yesteryear, Lent, Gouffé or Escoffier style. Let us recall that at the end of last August, the Monde M published a survey where the “middle” showed his distrust of the winner of Top Chef 2012 and his disbelief in his ability to take up the torch from AD. Only your servant then inclined to indulgence and optimism. Since? It’s the rush to the Plaza and the praises that rain down in heavy downpour. For our colleague Ezekiel Zerah from Pomelo, Jean Imbert is a formidable “ director » restaurant and « his lively and edible film will soon earn him three stars“. Moreover the director of the Michelin, the so discreet Gwendal Poullennec immediately split an ultra-flattering story on his Instagram account, just after his visit to Jean Imbert’s restaurant, emphatically welcoming this charming “revival”. Latest to greet the applicant from the Plaza: our colleague Emmanuel Rubin, who, in the Figaroscope, assures that after his doubts from last summer” , he sees himself ” forced to swallow his hat“, and to immediately praise this blazing tribute to “ the Escoffier heritage and in memory as the true novel of the grand French style. “Hallelujah! A great chef and his great table, with his cohort of fans, are born!

Michelin 2022: the rumor Michaël Arnoult

Michael Arnoult in the kitchen © DR

There are already four “three stars” in Savoie: Emmanuel Renaut at Flocons de Sel in Megève, Laurent Petit at Clos des Sens in Annecy, Yannick Alléno at Cheval Blanc in Courchevel and the Meilleurs, René and Maxime, in Saint-Martin- de-Belleville. Can there be a fifth? A persistent rumor gives, among the favorites, the name of Michaël Arnoult, native of Orléans, 44 years old, formerly spent at Delphin in Nantes, then at Oakley Court in Windsor in England, former second to Emmanuel Renault, holder of two stars for ten years in its beautiful country estate of Morainières in Jongieux, which has been increased by a few guest rooms. His house has for it to be independent, modest and regular, without forgetting to offer a creative and rooted cuisine with well-sourced products in the eco-responsible tone prized by the Michelin these days. Enough, among the long list of candidates for the supreme Olympus, to put him in orbit for this year.

Alain Dutournier at Trou Gascon

Alain Dutournier at Trou Gascon © GP

He is the same, probably younger, with a keen and mischievous eye, now receives at Trou Gascon, rue Taine, where, almost half a century ago (1973!), he began his career as a Gascon ambassador in Paris. Since the unexpected closure (for eviction) of the Carré des Feuillants, here is Alain Dutournier returning to the fundamentals revised to the taste of the day, which are the glory of the gourmet Landes in the manner of this native of Cagnotte who has never cut with his roots. Through a sleight of hand that can be explained by loyalty, Laurent Bouveret, chef of the Carré du Feuillants for two decades, now officiates, assisted by the house chef, Julien Chanson. And the register here is that of barely sophisticated Landes wisdom: terrine of foie gras and ham on toast, mushroom cake as a classy amuse-bouche, then creamy chicken pheasant velouté with chestnuts and truffles. We’ll talk about it soon.

Alain Ducasse defends female chefs

Kelly Jolivet © GP

He loves them and defends them. Who is that? But Alain Ducasse and the many talented chefs he promotes in his various bistros. Examples include Marie-Victorine Manoa at Lyonnais rue Saint-Marc, Charlotte Bringant at Allard in Paris (where she replaced Pauline Berghonnier who went on maternity leave, and who herself replaced Fanny Herpin), Kelly Jolivet who has just succeeded Fabienne Eymard (the latter is preparing to launch in Terrasson-Lavilledieu, in Périgord noir, but very close to Brive, her native Corrèze, at the Vieux Moulin), at Benoît rue Saint-Martin which is the only starred bistro in Paris, without forgetting Laetitia Rouabah, who was a precursor of the genre, officiating at Allard in Paris and who now works at Benoît in New York.

Do you know Koji Arima?

Koji Arima © GP

He is the last very good Japanese person to talk about in eastern Paris. The very gifted Koji Arima worked for four years at Epicure in the Bristol alongside Eric Frechon, after a year at the Lazare, but also five years at the Bon Accueil of the Aveyronnais Jacques Lacipière rue Montessuy in the 7th, after Chez les Anges boulevard de la tour Maubourg, not forgetting a year with Georges Blanc in Vonnas. He officiates under the banner of “Machja” (understanding the maquis in Corsican), at the corner of rue de Charonne and rue Godefroy de Cavaignac. In this discreet and sober table, which is that of the little-known Hotel des Arts-La Bastille, with contemporary charm, he practices slate market dishes, according to a pleasant formula at € 20 for lunch, plus pretty sharing dishes, with bright ideas staged with fingering. He works there Japanese wagyu in tender carpaccio or in shabu-shabu, without forgetting a bouillabaisse to swoon. We’ll discuss it again later.

Strasbourg: the new situation for Yvonne

Serge Cutillo © GP

Yvonne Halller is obviously no longer there to receive guests, in this Strasbourg Lipp where people hurry with pleasure, but Maria Nowinska, who was her assistant and her active shadow, has been welcoming guests for two decades now with the smile in an unchanged frame of eternal winstub. The patinated paneling, the tables d’hôtes, the three floors, the small lounges are reassuring. Better, comforting. The good news: the former chef of the “Rutsch”, Serge Cutillo, who was once crowned winstub of the year, is now at the helm of the kitchen. So much so that the house classics have undergone a facelift, closely watched by Cédric Moulot, co-owner, among others, with the Burrus of the neighbor “Croco” and the nearby “Saint-Sépulcre” (or “Hailich Graab” ) or even the “Armes de Strasbourg” (the Stadwappe). In fact, everything that is offered here is worthy of interest, offered à la carte and on the slate, the amusing Alsatian maki with foie gras, nori seaweed, sauerkraut, cinnamon, the divine and melt-in-the-mouth onion tart, the presskopf (homemade), the pretty and tender chuck of beef in salad, the skrei (this wild cod and very seasonal) with Alsatian saffron, cromesquis of calf’s head with its brains. We’ll talk about it soon.

Guillaume Royer in Auxois

Guillaume Royer © GP

He was the discreet star of the Abbaye de la Bussière, this beautiful Relais & Châteaux of Cistercian origins fervently run by the Cummings. The MOF 2015 Guillaume Royer, originally from Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, spent a long time alongside Christophe Bacquié at the Villa in Calvi and then at Le Castellet in the Var, after the Pas de l’Ours in Crans, Marcon in St Bonnet le Froid , the Chèvre d’Or in Eze-Village and Lameloise in Chagny, is returning to its roots and is preparing to settle near Châteauneuf with two addresses. He should open, next March, a gastronomic table in Vandenesse and a hotel lined with a chic bistro in Châteauneuf itself, an eagle’s nest and one of the most beautiful villages in France, where we remember Claude Lelouch once filmed “Partir, Revenir”. At the Abbaye de la Bussière, Guillaume Royer was replaced by François Pelletier, formerly of the Floris in Anières in Switzerland, Guy Savoy, the Café de la Paix and the Ritz in Paris, but also the Pré aux Clercs in Dijon.


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