Young chef Mallory Gabsi opens his first restaurant in Paris
25-year-old Belgian chef Mallory Gabsi has collaborated with designer Arnaud Behzadi to create a welcoming, contemporary restaurant in the heart of Paris
You have to be a pretty talented chef to open a high-end restaurant at the tender age of 25; especially if that restaurant is in Paris. But culinary wunderkind Mallory Gabsi has talent in spades, as proven by his success on the TV show Top Chef (he made the semi-final in 2020) and now his eponymous restaurant near the Arc de Triomphe.
Born in Belgium to a Tunisian household, Gabsi has made a career out of crafting dishes that combine modern, experimental techniques with the conviviality and comfort of traditional cooking. Visitors to his restaurant can choose from three different set-course menus: a three-course lunch menu; a four plate dinner menu known as Les Sens; and a six-part food and wine pairing sequence titled Turquoise.
Mallory Gabsi restaurant interiors, designed by Arnaud Behzadi
Dishes include appetisers such as soufflé bread with smoked scamorza and pistachio pesto, and a classic Belgian dish of green eel with caviar, lemon, and herbs. Mains feature unexpected combinations such as sea urchin with yuzu gel and Espelette pepper; and asparagus with butter, turnips confit and garlic mayonnaise. Meanwhile, the desserts’ flavours are equally surprising, with combinations like a chocolate sweet paired with parsnips and coconut milk.
‘We take you on a discovery of the delicacy of a rose of asparagus, the secret of a fumet or a crisp, the delicacy of a coconut-beetroot-foie-gras alliance,’ says Gabsi of the menu, which encourages you to ‘savour a cuisine of character, modern, innovative and precise’.
The interiors of the space were designed by Arnaud Behzadi to reflect the tastes and textures of Gabsi’s cuisine. The restaurant’s burnt red velvet seats are inspired by the colour of saffron, a common feature of Gabsi’s dishes, while wood-panelled walls and white marble tabletops are enhanced by touches of turquoise (the chef’s favourite colour) and elements of oxidised bronze.
‘It was great designing the restaurant for Mallory Gabsi,’ says Behzadi about the project. ‘From the first time we met, both of us understood that there was a real interaction between cooking and architecture and I chose materials that reflected his inventive cuisine. He trusted me entirely and the project is an everlasting dialogue between textures and flavours, just like Mallory’s cuisine.’
Every detail within the space has been carefully considered, from the Bernardaud plates and Christofle cutlery to the sauce boats, fruit plates and other ceramic pieces that have been crafted by young local talent, Léa Soumali.
The result is a dining experience that feels special without being stuffy, making it a place for gourmands who prefer a relaxed atmosphere. §