The best restaurant in the world now serves cuisine according to the phases of the moon, its chef told AFP.
The Argentinian Mauro Colagreco already uses the principles of biodynamics – following natural cycles – in the vegetable garden of his restaurant Mirazur overlooking the Mediterranean on the Côte d’Azur.
Now, he said, he would also follow the same principles in the plate.
Colagreco, the first foreign chef to achieve the maximum of three Michelin stars in France, said he decided to take the leap during the coronavirus lockdown as he sought solace in his vegetable garden.
“I didn’t see myself reopening in the same way I had closed three months earlier,” Colagreco told AFP.
The chef was hailed as a magician last year when the Mirazur topped the ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants for its “exquisite seasonal food”, often taken from its own “cascading gardens”.
But Colagreco said it wanted to go further, “not by changing the style of my cuisine but in the soul of the restaurant”.
Since the reopening of the Mirazur in Menton on June 12, it has offered menus based on flowers, fruits, leaves and roots, all closely linked to the lunar cycle.
Leaves better with the rising moon
And the chef said some of his classic dishes, like salt-crusted beetroot with caviar cream, might have to wait their turn.
On “leaf days”, for example, when the moon rises, the leaves that accompany the alpine lamb and seaweed strudel would be at their best.
“During the lockdown I worked a lot in the garden. It allowed me to work all my worries and really get in touch with the earth,” said the 43-year-old.
“I started to question a lot of things – the way we work, the way the company develops and the way we produce and consume.
“We wanted to overturn that equation and say that the garden is part of the restaurant and the restaurant is part of the garden.”
Farmers traditionally planted and harvested by moonlight, Colagreco said, and “the lunar calendar is one of our guides in the garden.
“Much of what we do is biodynamic. For example, when we sow spinach, we do it on leaf day (when the moon rises) because there will be a greater concentration of energy on that part of the plant. “
Shrimps with rose petals
Colagreco is convinced that its customers will know how to taste the difference.
And on a flower day, when the moon is in one of the air signs, the rose petal, rhubarb, and almond milk shrimp are likely to tickle the taste buds a little more.
“We are trying to send a message to see nature in a different way and to have more direct contact with it,” the chief told AFP.
He said he didn’t force biodynamic ideas on anyone and didn’t want it to become “dogma” in his kitchen.
“We are introducing the idea with tact,” insisted Colagreco.
While the chef said it may take some time for Asian and American foodies to return to Mirazur on the Franco-Italian border, he has seen encouraging signs of a recovery after the lockdown.
His Parisian restaurant, Grandcoeur, has been doing well since its reopening and “everything points to a strong recovery,” he added.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)