LITTLE BIG PORTRAIT of Philippe Joannès
Copyright Georges-Olivier Kalifa
IN THE LIFE OF A CHEF!
A deep dive in the daily life of the executive chef of the Fermont Monte Carlo, “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” and a lover of good products and authentic cuisine.
Philippe Joannès fell in love with cooking at a very young age. His parents had a small restaurant in the Champagne area and Philippe always knew that this was what he wanted to do. His dad passed his passion to him! « He was taking me to the Reims market at 4pm to do his shopping. From a very young age, I was helping in the kitchen or serving food. » The family restaurant was his playground. But today, the playground has a different scale. At the head of a team of 80 people, the executive chef of the Fairmont, produces 600 000 meals per year and is in charge of the kitchen of the famous Nobu restaurant, as well as of the Saphir24 bistro, lounge, and bar open 24/7. From April to October, there are 2 additional food outlets to manage, the Horizon and its incredible sea view and the Nikki Beach around the swimming pool. Without forgetting all the catering for all the events outside of the hotel.
.Meilleur Ouvrier de France
Saying that Philippe Joannès’s work life is busy is an understatement. His workday is synchronized to the millisecond. « In the morning, I check out the products, then I go around the kitchens and I am of course in the kitchens for lunch. The afternoon is when I talk with the sales teams, I work on new menus and we try them out together with the team. Then I am back in the kitchen to supervise dinner and sometimes stay there until 23H. After having worked in the Trianon Palace in Versailles, in the Royal Deauville and in the Pavillon Elysee in Paris, Philippe Joannès, has been in charge of Lenotre on the “Côté d’Azur” for 10 years. Consecration from his peers comes in 2000. He won the prestigious “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” competition. Organized every 4 years, this competition awards the 6 best chefs out of 600 participating.
In 2012, Philippe Joannès arrived in Monaco with the mission to develop the external catering business of the Fairmont Monte Carlo, such as the private or professional receptions in the Grimaldi Forum, the Louis 2 Stadium, the Ephrussi de Rothschild villa etc…What he prefers is using good and local products. « I very often go to the Condamine market, to Romi’s stand, to select seasonal products. » I now buy courgettes, chards, Kale cabbages and endives. « I like simple dishes. Nothing is better than vegetables cooked a low temperature, without mixing them to keep their flavours» . But he also still please the clients of the hotels who fancy burgers, pasta and pizza around the clock.
Wasting a little as possible
Philippe Joannès is also campaigning against food waste, thanks to an efficient food stock management and a selective menu. To throw away as less food as possible, he uses everything the product has to offer, like with the carrots for example, even the tops are used! « And we bake our own bread in the hotel, when we need more we just make more, and if we have any left, we give them to Princess Stephanie’s elephants.»
Transmission & Management
To keep his team motivated, Philippe Joannès has set up a competition. Every Friday, one of the chefs, cooks a meal that is then tasted by the hotel staff. The only instruction is to be creative. « The objective is to let them express themselves and to motivate them. As a kid, it was my dad who had inspired me and now it is my turn to play this role. Kitchen management has changed a lot, and we are far from the image of the chef shouting at his brigade. « We are less about discipline and more about listening ».
And recommending this career to younger people. « There are many possibilities to grow, travel and choose the best path corresponding to your cooking style. What is important is to be passionate .» And it is with passion that he organizes four times a year, cooking sessions for children, the “ateliers des Petits Chefs”.* «We show them the products and we cook with them ». A way to pass on his passion and inspire the next generation.
THE LOCAL TIPS OF PHILIPPE Joannès
tél. +377 93 506 500Which place do you find the most inspiring in Monaco?
The oceanographic museum
Your favourite restaurants ?
La Montgolfière on the rock, The Blue Bay michelin star chef Marcel Ravin, la chèvre d’Or in Eze and Jan in Nice.
A secret to stay in shape?
The Monte Carlo tennis club
One of your little daily pleasures ?
Breakfast on the terrace of the Horizon restaurant in the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
A local artist you admire ?
Your secret addresses to share with our Little Big Monaco reader?
Le coin du fromager in la Turbie
* The next edition of the Petits Chefs workshops will be held on Wednesday, April 12 at 2 pm and 4:30 pm. For more information : http://fairmont-monte-carlo.monte-carlo.hotels-mc.net/fr/
Tel: +377 93 506 500.
Horizon Deck restaurant & Champagne Bar
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