After receiving awards from all sides in 2019 (3 Michelin stars, the Best restaurant in the world and Best chef in the world), Mauro Colagreco is at the mercy of the coronavirus crisis, just like everyone else. His Mirazur restaurant in Menton closed its doors on March 14, putting his team in "technical unemployment."
"I of course continue to take care of the vegetable patch with my nephew, who is confined to our home," explains the Italian-Argentinian chef. "We collect vegetables for us, we also make up some baskets for close neighbours who know that we have a stock to sell, but not on a big scale. We also give some to the staff so that they go to the supermarket as little as possible."
With his production, Mauro Colagreco also cooks for hospital staff and the homeless in Menton. "We started last week and we're going to do it every Tuesday and Thursday. Everyone around us contributes to it, be it producers, fishermen, etc ... who give us raw material" emphasises the chef.
Rethinking our way of consuming
Even if Mauro Colagreco is experiencing confinement on a day to day basis, he's already thinking about the future of his restaurant and gastronomy in a global way. "I fear that a lot of restaurants will remain on the sidelines. It will all depend on how long the crisis lasts but I have the impression that it will be longer than we think and it will be very hard for the gastronomy sector. For everyone, by the way. I think it will be a moment in which to ask the bigger questions."
The first, according to the chef of Mirazur, will be on locavorism, both in terms of produce and restaurants. "At Mirazur for example, we welcome a very international clientele and I think that will no longer be the case in the months to come. Fortunately, we also have a lot of regulars in the area and we are really counting on them for their return. "
Mauro Colagreco also thinks that "everyone will have to adapt to new conditions": "Will deconfinement be done gradually like in Asia, with greater distances between tables and therefore with less covers where masks and gel are readily available? Before confinement, we saw practices coming out of Asia and we had already strengthened our protocols at Mirazur. We ensured everyone washed their hands every 30 minutes, if necessary we used gloves, we disinfected the surfaces with alcohol more frequently ... I imagine that upon reopening we will have to maintain or even reinforce these measures."