Set in the idyllic landscape of Menton, Argentine-Italian chef Mauro Colagreco has created the perfect scenario to evidence his very particular view of the gastronomy: in an unusual 1950’s Modernist building, with sweeping views of the Mediterranean, he serves flavorful vegetable-focused dishes made with the products that come straight from his own backyard farm (up to 150 local herbs and flowers) or the local farmer’s markets, from France and Italy, since the Italian border is just 30 meters from Mirazur’s front door.
Colagreco chose to open a restaurant in a place he’d never been before and where he didn’t know anyone: no suppliers, no producers. But as a globetrotter chef, Colagreco’s cuisine in Mirazur is inspired by all the cultures which influence a cook working on the border, gathering natural produce of the Mediterranean without never forget his Argentinian roots.
His dishes embrace the surroundings in a unique and all-encompassing way, always looking for the best ingredients, from the freshest seafood to Piedmont nuts, strolling through well-known Menton’s citric fruits. Colagreco’s talent lies in his sensitive balance of taste and flavor, merging influences from mountains and the sea.
Born in 1976, in La Plata, Colagreco started his career at the Gato Dumas hotel school in Buenos Aires, where he also worked in some of the city’s most prestigious restaurants - he dropped out during his sophomore year at National University of La Plata's School of Economic Sciences to pursue his love for cooking. In the early 2000’s, he made his way to France to be part of the staff of acclaimed restaurants, such as Alain Passard’s l’Arpège and Alain Ducasse at the Hotel Plaza Athénée. Colagreco worked with Bernard Loiseau until his death in 2003 and also spent a year at Le Grand Véfour.
In 2006, he established Mirazur, earning his first Michelin star within a year, and received the ‘Revelation of the Year’ award, a brand new category from Gault Millau guide to recognizing his merits. His second Michelin star came in 2012 and the prestigious third star in February 2019, making Colagreco the first Latin American chef to earn them. Since 2009, Mirazur has been ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world according to the 50 Best Restaurant list - it has reached the third position in the 2018 list.
Colagreco’s signature recipes focus on local ingredients, from the farmer’s market of Ventimiglia to Menton’s fields, in dishes like his famous oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear or the Beetroot and oscietra caviar, highlighting his preference to work with vegetables. He has five people exclusively dedicated to grow them in two gardens that supply about 25% of Mirazur's produce with 150 different types of herbs and edible flowers and citrus trees that grow the famed local citron de Menton lemon.
Even Colagreco’s bread is a proof of his attention to details: inspired by his grandmother’s recipe, the loaves are served with lemon-ginger olive oil and presented with the Pablo Neruda poem “Ode to Bread.’’
Although Mirazur is the apple of his eye, now with 10 years since its opening, Colagrego has been expanding his performance not only in France - where he owns brasserie GrandCœur in Paris, in addition to businesses in Courchevel, Nice and Cannes -, but also in Asia (where he runs Azur by MC, in Beijing, and Grill 58 °, in Macau, for example). Recently he opened his first business in the US: Florie's at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Palm Beach. He has also created a hamburger chain in Argentina, Carne, and now divides his time between four continents.