Paris has always been the undisputed Mecca of chefs. But there is one talent who has the whole gourmet world in a buzz: Inaki Aizpitarte, who in 2011 was awarded the 9th place in the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.
Of Basque origin, this ingenious 40-something has given the concept of the bistrot a complete overhaul with his nonconformist Chateaubriand - an eatery that dates back to the ‘30s, one with no fixed menu, but instead a 50 euro offering that changes daily and has put fear into the city’s more noble gourmet dining institutions.
The success of Inaki Aizpitarte’s gastrobistrot has been so overwhelming that beginning in 2011, he opened another one – Dauphin, a tapas bar that has already been widely acclaimed by foodies from around the world. Here the chef plays with the contrast between raw and cooked, reinventing French cuisine with irony – like the floating island à la foie gras. He makes imaginative use of the pillars of traditional French ingredients – like oysters from Normandy, truffle and lamb, pain d'épices and vinaigrette – always maintaining a constant dialogue with international cuisine.
A notable quality of his style of cooking is the speed of execution, without ever sacrificing thought. And he is well known to be extremely likeable – as is his team. If you’re ready to give up the idea of staid Parisian gourmet cuisine, go eat Inaki’s food. Just be sure to reserve in advance.