The rumour that has been circulating for several weeks is now official: Jean Imbert will succeedAlain Ducasse as the head of the kitchens at Paris'Plaza Athénée.
Posting on Instagram, the chef from restaurants Mamie (Paris) and To Share (St-Tropez) confided: "I was 18 when Alain Ducasse arrived at the Plaza-Athénée and it has always made me dream (...) In this world, that a self-taught person born and raised in the Parisian suburbs without being an 'insider' can, before 40 years old, take over from the greatest chef currently on the planet (…) I sincerely thank him for his support and his precious advice."
If the press release confirming the fact doesn't reveal much more information, it is certain that the Parisian palace wishes to mark a change of strategy by leaving the world of starred restaurants in order to attract a younger clientele that Imbert's cuisine has attracted for years - the chef has notably opened the To Share restaurant in Saint-Tropez with singer Pharrell Williams.
Today, one question remains: what will happen to Romain Meder and Jessica Préalpato, chef and pastry chef respectively at Plaza Athénée? These two talents, very attached to the values of Alain Ducasse, offer a cuisine very different to Imbert's, and could therefore jump ship in the weeks to come.
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