In the Chef’s own words
The Head Chef
Laurent André: A new executive chef for the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel and the Café de la Paix.
The legendary Café de la Paix welcomes a Michelin-starred chef, Laurent André. This 48 year-old maestro arrives straight from a seven-year term in the kitchens of the Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris Hotel.
Starting October 12, Chef Laurent André will take over the kitchens of the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel, veritable Parisian institution inaugurated in 1862. Passionate defender of seasonal cuisine featuring local and regional products, Laurent André will make his mark on Café de la Paix classics. “For me, real cooking begins when the ingredients taste like they are meant to. Cuisine is like a love story. I have to fall in love with the products and the people who produce them.”
The hotel’s General Manager, Mr. Laure, is delighted to welcome his new Chef: “Laurent André is luminous, intelligent, lively, creative and has a delicious personality. He is one of his generation’s most gifted chefs with the ability to run several kitchens simultaneously and earn them stars! He is in sync with the InterContinental Hotel, and will continue to develop the pedigree of the Café de la Paix. Laurent André will add his inimitable touch to the great classics like foie gras, tartare, sole and gratinée.”
As for Laurent André, his goal is to refine the identity of the Café de la Paix. “I would like to make the Café de la Paix a veritable place for exchange and reference in terms of French gastronomy, including Gnocchis à la parisienne made with choux pastry, traditional frog legs cooked in parsley butter or Burgandy escargots with herbs. I would also like to reach out to Parisians with more feminine dishes: green beans in a crisp salad served with European lobster medallions and button mushrooms sprinkled with delicate hazelnut oil and aged wine vinegar. Perhaps eggs mimosa with royal crab, or chicken breast cooked in bouillon served with winter vegetables. »
Originally from the Jura region in the east of France, he began his career with the renowned chef Alain Chapel in nearby Mionnay, in the Ain department. Working at his sides, Laurent André also discovered that being a chef requires commitment and humility. But this is a small price to pay when the profession gives so much in return, namely exceptional human bonds.
His Alain Ducasse experience
In 1992, Laurent André starts work as third commis at Louis XV, the 3-star restaurant at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco. In four short years, he rises through the ranks to become Chef de brigade. Alain Ducasse then offers him a new challenge: taking over La Grande Cascade in the Bois de Boulogne with Jean-Louis Nomicos. And a daunting challenge it is! Ducasse gives him one year to earn a Michelin star for the legendary restaurant. After running the Relais du Parc in Paris in 1998, Laurent André dreams of conquering new lands. In 2000, he heads for London where he opens the Spoon Food & Wine at the Sanderson hotel. His six-month project ends up lasting 3 years. Then Asia calls with an opportunity he can’t refuse: opening the Spoon Wine & Bar inside the Hong Kong InterContinental Hotel, and becoming executive chef for the entire hotel: 6 restaurants and 220 cooks!
Back in France in 2009, Laurent André returns to his roots, taking over the kitchens of the Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris Hotel. His talent is applauded by the Michelin guide which attributes a star to both of the restaurants: La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio (making it the only starred Italian restaurant in Paris).
Today, after working with his two mentors, Alain Chapel and Alain Ducasse, armed with a wide-range of experiences in France and abroad, Chef Laurent André is highly appreciated for his talent and his human touch. The fact he loves to transmit his knowledge is also a major asset for his craft. “I have acquired precious know-how. Today, I especially want to show-how, and let others put my knowledge into practice.”
The Pastry Chef
Sophie de Bernardi: pastry chef for the Hotel InterContinental Paris Le Grand and the Café de la Paix.
Since December 2017, Sophie de Bernardi has taken over the pastry and sweets creation of the Grand Hôtel.Trained with great Chefs of French gastronomy, this passionate woman has worked alongside Michel Troisgros at the Lancaster, François Perret at the Shangri-La, Alain Solivérès at Taillevent and Frédéric Vardon at the 39V.
The hotel’s General Manager, Mr.Laure, is delighted to welcome the next generation of pastry chefs to this mythical place. A true Parisian institution inaugurated in 1862, the Grand Hôtel is one of the jewels of the French hotel industry.
Sophie de Bernardi wishes to bring a new breath of rigour and softness. She will revisit all the great classics of French pastry in the Café de la Paix, such as the Mille-feuille or the Opéra, but will also let her imagination free.
A challenge to the measure of this young 27 year old pastry chef, authentic and full of creativity, with a journey already marked out by great houses with exceptional chefs.
Our pastry team offers to guests not only some of classic desserts at the Café of de la Paix, but also a large choice of delicious sweets and ice-cream.