Chef Yannick Alléno used to offer a € 395 menu with langoustines and foie gras at his three-star Michelin restaurant near the Champs-Elysées.
But as France plans to allow the restaurant to resume foreign operations next week six months after it closes, it will instead serve burgers at its own wine shop at a lower cost.
That a top chef like Alléno, who owns a luxury restaurant from Courchevel to Marrakesh with more than a dozen Michelin stars, is changing the mindset to reflect the challenges facing Frenchmen good restaurant when seeking to recover from the ravages of coronavirus.
“We need to encourage people to come here with their interest,” said Pavillon Ledoyen, a neoclassical mansion located in several of its restaurants, including the three-star Alléno Paris.
Such temples in French gastronomy have catered to wealthy foreign visitors, who gladly pay more than € 1,000 for two meals as much as they can afford French living art. But because international travel has greatly reduced the epidemic, such customers are not expected to return for a while.
What impresses locals is the new crisis, as well as the retention of workers, many of whom have left the profession and its difficult working environment. Many restaurants are also heavily indebted after taking government-sponsored loans to address the problem.
“I have three years of struggle,” said Alléno, adding that half of the group’s savings were lost. “In a three-star restaurant, there will be many casualties.”
Its well-known restaurant was making more than three-quarters of its revenue from foreign restaurants, mainly from Asia and the US. Since there is no need to reopen without them, the doors will be closed until September. Alléno is currently experimenting with the unstable environment as he prepares for what he wants to pull-eat in the 21st century.
“Everything has to change,” he said, holding the title of a book he had written while closing. In it, he called for altering everything from work style (hot, customizable) to work style (flexible and family friendly).
French high gastronomy has its roots in 19th-century chefs, such as Auguste Escoffier and Marie-Antoine Carême, who made delicious and careful soup dishes – often playful. For decades it was considered the best in the world and became the most important part of France.
Its popularity has waned in recent years as a result of the first competition from a stem cell rupture and then a Nordic genocide. Like French high-quality food which was missing, was too expensive, to keep it away from many.
“The plague has revealed that French restaurant chains do not work without visitors,” says Joerg Zipprick, co-founder of La Liste, one of the world’s best restaurants.
“This is a new development. It was so. . . a local doctor or manager comes to these places for the occasion. Not anymore. “
Zipprick said for top chefs, many of whom used last year to experiment with snacks and eating utensils, success depends on their willingness to change.
Diners may not want messy dishes and try to get back, he predicted, but instead would want to eat a good meal at a good restaurant with friends and relatives.
“There are no technical or food requirements that require a long-term explanation from the food supplier. People don’t want their food to be a skill, ”said Zipprick.
The last French cuisine to re-emerge was in the 1970s when chefs like Paul Bocuse and the Troisgros brothers made new kitchen. Travel, fuel-free and less than the best food available, put in the latest and best equipment and the work became pointless.
Alléno believes that high-end restaurants should refine their experience by talking to customers before dinner, guests and their favorites.
This method of “concierge service” can allow the menu to be well-organized, customer-centered and dining finances.
“I know I only have three people who can eat langoustine that night so I don’t have to call six kilos for that to happen,” he said. “It completely changes things in the kitchen.”
Some are becoming too mature. The three-star Daniel Humm Eleven Madison Park in New York will no longer serve meat and fish when it reopens next month, with the Swiss chef wanting to show that a balanced and environmentally friendly diet can be in line with high quality.
However, Éric Fréchon, Michelin’s three-star chef behind the Epicure restaurant at the Le Bristol five-star hotel in Paris, has lived up to his expectations.
“Things are going back to normal,” said Fréchon, noting that the hotel’s restaurant had a lot of local customers. “People have missed the experience of high gastronomy for a long time they would be willing to return. ”
Fréchon said he has kept up to date with the latest coronavirus, including a 1,390 “gastronomy and bed” package that is sold as a one-night stay for locals that includes food for their room or hotel room.
“For the New Year we had 60 servers moving back and forth in the rooms, it was really hard,” he said. “But it did allow us to reach out to new customers who may not be able to come to the three-star restaurant. Now we have to keep them. ”
Additional reports of Domitille Alain in Paris