Paris Chef Insider: Frédéric Anton

The former judge on the French version of MasterChef, is making culinary dreams come true atop the Eiffel Tower.
 

Frédéric Anton, photograph by Marie-Line Sina.

With the help of an electric scooter, award-winning chef Frédéric Anton divides his day between two Parisian eateries: the Le Pré Catelan restaurant in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne neighbourhood, and Le Jules Verne located inside the Eiffel Tower.

While Le Jules Verne has been operating for more than two decades, it recently underwent a 10-month refurbishment. It now features chic decor that complements its panoramic views of the City of Lights. After arriving at the iconic tower, guests are whisked to the restaurant in a private elevator. At the summit, a magical dining experience awaits. Dressing up is recommended and, after dark, the twinkling lights of the skyline offer an unparalleled opportunity for romance.

Anton, a former judge on the French version of MasterChef and the holder of three Michelin stars, is leading the restaurant’s new vision. His menus include everything from smoked caviar to apricots flavoured with almond cream. There are two tasting menus, with five and seven courses respectively, plus an à la carte lunch menu. Each menu is accented with the unusual, down to the smallest detail—think courgette flowers and Madagascan vanilla.

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience in Paris, your search is over.

Le Jules Verne, photograph by Stephan Julliard.

Q: When did you decide that you wanted to be a chef?

As a child, I wanted to become a cabinetmaker, but I eventually opted for hotelier school, where I discovered cuisine. I found the chef profession could be related to moulding materials into products. Take a vegetable for example: it can be peeled, cut, cooked, seasoned. It is not very different from the work of a cabinetmaker with wood.

Q: What are your career highlights?

I took my first steps with great chefs: Gérard Veissière at Le Capucin Gourmand in Nancy, Robert Bardot at the Le Flambard in Lille and Gérard Boyer at Les Crayères in Reims. Then I worked at Café Jamin in Paris. In 1997, I became a director at Le Pré Catelan, which then had one star in the Michelin Guide. Thanks to a lot of work, we got the second star in 1999, and the third in 2007.

Q: Do you have any advice to pass on to young chefs?

Mentoring is a very important aspect of our business. I’ve had the chance to learn alongside great names in French gastronomy, like Joël Robuchon [at Café Jamin]. It is important for me to continue this tradition. Because we are passionate, the main tip—for young and old, alike—is simply to have fun.

Q: What can Le Jules Verne guests expect when they visit?

Our ambition is to make Le Jules Verne a must-visit gourmet destination in Paris, and to offer the client an exceptional experience at the top of France’s most emblematic monument.

Q: What is your favourite dish on the menu?

I don’t really have a favourite dish, as they all [come from] a kitchen that I like. In any case, it is not the chef who decides the signature dish of a restaurant, it is the clients.

La Langoustine, photograph by Richard Haughton.

Three More Must-visit Gourmet Destinations in Paris

1. Zia

Located near the Eiffel Tower, brunch spot Zia is a must. The menu includes Dutch Baby Pancakes that can be topped with vegetables, bacon, eggs and cheese, or with fruit and maple syrup.

ziaparis.com

2. Angelina

One of Paris’s most fashionable patisseries since 1903, Angelina is legendary among those with a sweet tooth. Plus, the hot chocolate here was favoured by Coco Chanel

angelina-paris.fr

3. La Fontaine de Belleville

For coffee, the charming and quintessentially Parisian café La Fontaine de Belleville should satisfy your caffeine cravings. The jazz music performances are equally epic. 

lafontainedebelleville.com


[This story appears in the October 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]

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