Paris is home to some legendary hotels and up the top is Le Meurice, which has played a leading role in films like Midnight in Paris and plays host to celebrities on a daily basis.
Alongside some stunning rooms and suites, Le Meurice is well known for its culinary offerings, led by Executive Chef, Amaury Bouhours. To find out about his passion for authentic flavours and contemporary French gastronomy, James Wilkinson caught up with him in Paris recently.
Amaury, tell us about your stellar career to date.
Following my studies in the Soissons Hospitality College, I got an internship at the Louis XV – Alain Ducasse in Monaco where I first confronted with Alain Ducasse’s cuisine.
I then moved to Paris where I entered the team at the restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée as a commis. During six years I had the chance to work with three different chefs, all in line with Alain Ducasse’s philosophy but with a different personal style and to evoluate in different positions. This was very instructive.
I then was appointed Sous-Chef under Adrien Trouilloud at Lasserre restaurant, a historic restaurant avenue Franklin Roosevelt, at the time when Alain Ducasse was consultant there.
In 2016, I’ve joined the Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse as Deputy Chef under Jocelyn Herland and in 2020 I had the honour to be named Executive Chef for the hotel.
What are your favourite ingredients to use at present?
I love working with squash. It is a very versatile product, you have different varieties with different tastes and you can work them in so many different textures: purée, pickles, roasted, steamed, the possibilities are endless.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
My cooking style is French, modern, seasonal and focused on produce with respectful sourcing.
At Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, my cooking is natural and pure, really focusing on the ingredients themselves. At Restaurant Le Dalí the relaxed atmosphere is complemented by a short menu and every dish is cooked with excellence in mind.
Amaury, what’s your signature dish?
For me that’s for our guests to decide but I can suggest a few favourites.
At Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, I recommend the barely cooked sea bream, which comes from Noir-Moutier and is so delicate that it’s best enjoyed rare.
At Restaurant Le Dalí, I recommend the pigeon from Flanders. We cook it on the barbecue, which really makes the most of this delicate meat.
What’s your favourite thing about working with Dorchester Collection and Le Meurice?
The team spirit. I can 100% rely on and trust my team. This is very important for me. Your team is your family away from home – a good vibe and a friendly environment in the kitchen is key for the success.
Getting to Paris
WAYFARER flew to Paris via London with British Airways. The great British airline flies daily to Paris via London and the author recommends flying in Club World (Business Class), which features flat-bed seats, hundreds of hours’ entertainment on demand, a great selection of wine and some of the best meals in the sky.
To view a video review of Club World, click on the image below.