AFP, published on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 11:38 am
Installed in the Eiffel Tower, the chef Thierry Marx, child of the popular Parisian district of Ménilmontant, entered “by burglary” in this profession. He wants to “mix people” in his new chic establishment, where he employs staff with social difficulties.
With its panoramic view of Paris 57 meters high on the 1st floor, “Madame Brasserie” opened in early June, with several years of delay due to Covid, when tourists are back. When the high-profile chef arrives in the dining room, customers get up to take their picture with him.
“The history of the brewery is to mix people. So you can enter this room by breaking the codes a little. British, Americans, French, they want a photo, it’s very pleasant”, explains to AFP Thierry Marx, 2 Michelin stars in a Parisian palace.
The experience must be earned in this establishment, which provides up to 800 covers per day: with tasting menus between 95 and 245 euros, you must also buy a ticket to access the tower and wait up to 40 minutes to get there. ascend.
An “irritating” element, recognizes Thierry Marx but the teams are trained to make it forget.
– “Not forgotten where I came from” –
In 2018, Thierry Marx and Frédéric Anton, 3 Michelin stars, at the helm since 2019 of the gourmet restaurant Jules-Verne located on the 2nd floor, won with the Sodexo group the concession for the catering of the tower, previously managed by Alain Ducasse, the chef the most starred in the world.
The latter then vilified the lack of stature of his successors, an episode that makes Thierry Marx smile, who demolished everything to “lighten the room and the kitchen”.
“It was a competition. Insults are not very serious. To agitate is not to act. I know how you get into a ring and how to get out of it. We can try to give blows but we risk receiving some too”, comments the chef, black belt in judo.
“When I dared to approach the tower file, many people said: + Is it legitimate? +, he recalls.
“All my life, I have been illegitimate in everything: I broke into this profession where, to succeed, it is better to be + son of + or + pupil of +”. At Madame Brasserie, 10% of the staff are included, having left their “Cuisine Mode d’emploi” schools where they train people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have had to deal with the law.
He plans to increase their share to 20%. Unprecedented thing especially for an institution like the Eiffel Tower where you have to “tick all the boxes” to be admitted.
“I haven’t forgotten where I came from”, assures the chef who promotes a project with “a social and environmental impact”.
– Beware of “Khmer Verts” –
Tartlet with peas, veal, sea bass, free-range poultry, Pavlova or chocolate fondant: the menu is short and readable.
We choose our starter, main course, dessert, but a spelled risotto with vegetables is “imposed”.
“It’s obvious that today, we are on more vegetables, in a more flexitarian theory. We are no longer on beef-carrot, we are more on carrot-beef”, explains the chef, himself. even vegetarian.
Everything is prepared on site, even the ice cream, welcomes the chef who denounces the “assembly kitchen” practiced, according to him, in most Parisian brasseries which “have lost their soul”.
He calculates the carbon balance of his plates but without falling into excess: “I am wary of the Khmer Verts”. “Stop saying: + This goes beyond the department, it will not work +. Like that, there would never have been anything in France!”.
By buying pickles in Dijon, “I damage my carbon impact but, in Paris, I would have trouble growing them. I pay a lot of money for them but I protect a sector”.