Frédéric Anton receives Le Figaro in his kingdom of the bois de Boulogne, the Pré Catelan, to discuss his resumption of Jules Verne, accompanied by the Sodexo group.
LE FIGARO. – You want to do a Jules Verne a gourmet destination full”. How much time have you spent on the project chosen by the operating Company of the Eiffel tower for a successor to Alain Ducasse?
Frédéric ANTON. – Over a hundred people have worked over a year with dedicated teams. The Jules Verne has been demolished and rebuilt from A to Z. I have supervised the gastronomic offer, the organisation of the place, the selection of the staff, the decoration with Aline Asmar Amman. The small spoon in the kitchen, passing by the salt and the pepper… I have 54 years old, my second part of the career opens to the Eiffel tower. I’m like a little kid. When I arrived in Paris thirty years ago, at Mr. Robuchon, at Jamin, I looked at the tower a few metres away during my break. It made me dream.
The stars are they in the line of fire?
Yes. One, two… We will fight hard to earn it. The Jules Verne has never won two stars!
Is it difficult to move on after Alain Ducasse?
“I’m going to put my footprint on the Jules Verne of the future, to enter into the history of the Eiffel tower”
This is a great cook. Go after him, that is extraordinary. But I have a mission, it doesn’t matter who was there before me! I’m going to put my footprint on the Jules Verne of the future, to enter into the history of the Eiffel tower.
Have you recruited a new team?
The staff who wished to remain has been kept. My second, at the Pre Catelan, Kevin Garcia will be chef at the Jules Verne. But the idea is not to strip the Pre. So I put together a team of about 70 people, recruiting cooks, who had previously worked for me.
Will there be dishes, signatures of the Pre Catelan, such as the product available in several services, or the project is different?
I wouldn’t be the Jules Verne of the dishes of the Pré Catelan. However, if tomorrow they ask me the royan norway lobster from the Pre, perhaps the will-t-it. I don’t invent a new style for the Eiffel tower. We cook surely the product declined, but in two services, not three to five as the Pre. This is my paw, and this, over the last fifteen years. I imagined the format for creating novelty, while keeping the dishes that made my reputation.
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You have without doubt chosen to supply short circuits?
We do as much local as possible. But the best poultry in my eyes, for example, is located in le Mans. We chose a good season and the good region, or direct with suppliers you know well. We have ensured with Thierry Marx, who deals quite separately from the brewery and the sale to take away, to regroup some suppliers do not deliver in duplicate.
How do you organize your time between the tour Eiffel and le Pre Catelan?
“The two restaurants are owned by the Sodexo group, so no boss will be able to accuse me of working for another one !”
I’m going to be a maximum amount of time everywhere. I will come to see my teams every morning, will be attending some services. Nothing is defined, but I have the contractual obligation to be at the Jules. The two restaurants are owned by the Sodexo group, so no boss will be able to accuse me of working for another! 4.3 km between the Pre and the tour. I bought an electric scooter to move me between the two. Some chefs have twenty restaurants in the world and you don’t ask them the question!
You have not thought of changing the name of the restaurant?
as We have mentioned before. But I would be opposed totally. This name is known in the world. There are things that we should not rush him.
Sodexo, behind the project, is a multinational corporation catering. Is this compatible with the high gastronomy?
The project is part of Sodexo Sports and Leisure, the entity prestige behind the Lido, Yachts de Paris, le Pré Catelan, Lenôtre… I really do not discover and know what we are working with them without constraints. In addition, it is a French group!