Amaury Bouhours (Le Meurice): The Disruptive Element 

 

Since his beginnings in Monaco with Alain Ducasse, Amaury Bouhours has patiently evolved in the constellation of his mentor before taking charge of the kitchens of Le Meurice and his two Michelin stars. Interview. 

 

Vegetables in the blood 

Amaury Bouhours spent a lot of time during his childhood with his grandmother. A market gardener, she passed on to him a taste for simplicity and authenticity, especially through simple recipes such as blanquette of fish which still gives him a frisson today. It is therefore natural that his cuisine tells the story of rare products supplied by breeders and producers that he seeks throughout France. For example, he recently discovered ginger from Alsace. Amaury places great importance on sourcing and the manufacturing processes during which he likes to take the time to see and understand. This very committed approach pushes him to go beyond local cuisine by going as far as making his own soy sauce with local products. Thus, today he can claim a cuisine that is 95% French, simple and comforting.

"I like honesty, frankness on the plate."

Praise of fidelity 

The chef started his career at the Louis XV in Monte Carlo alongside Alain Ducasse. He then moved to another restaurant in the group - the Hôtel Plaza Athénée - in contact with three renowned chefs before taking over Le Meurice. Hyperactive by nature he declares, “My generation is very impatient but learning over fourteen years, in contact with very experienced chefs, allowed us to cultivate the talent necessary to achieve two Michelin stars.” Today, the relationship between the two leaders remains unchanged: Amaury keeps the codes and the DNA of the group while grafting his somewhat provocative personality on it. For example, he does not hesitate to serve chicken feet as an appetizer. He likes frankness on the plate and is prepared to shock in order to achieve his goal: to create emotion. 

 

Palace life 

Today, Amaury Bouhours manages the two restaurants at Le Meurice. The first is the gourmet restaurant, Le Meurice Alain Ducasse is open only in the evenings. It includes the room inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Palace of Versailles and revisited by Philippe Starck. It recalls the rich history of this hotel, which opened in 1835, and which saw Queen Victoria stay. It has long been called the Hotel of the Kings - and many personalities including Salvador Dalí were regulars. In this imposing room along the rue de Rivoli and the gardens of the Louvre, it offers an easy-to-understand menu including very lightly cooked Noirmoutier sea bream/Allonnes carrot/marigold/smoked yogurt or roast Lacaune lamb/abalone/turnip/ Croisic seaweed. For desserts, Cédric Grolet, the artist in residence, officiates. And for those who want a more "special" experience, the chef's table allows ten guests to meet in the basement in a private room with a direct view of the kitchens. The second restaurant - Restaurant Le Dalí - allows you to take a gourmet visit to Le Meurice at any time of the day for breakfast, lunch, teatime or dinner. Based on the same dogmas - 95% local products - its Luxembourg prices make it a bridge between the general public and a Palace whose stature could intimidate at first glance.