Mirazur restaurant, located in the city of Menton, has established itself as the best restaurant in France, ranking fourth in the 2017 list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”
Mauro Colagreco, its founder and owner, is one of today’s most recognized chefs in the world, not only has he earned two Michelin stars, but he was also awarded the National Order of Merit medal for his contribution to French culture.
His success stems from a life of work and self-improvement that began in his native Argentina, where he studied with great local chefs such as Gato Dumas. In the late 1990s, he decided to immigrate to France to perfect his style within the international culinary scene and, once installed in Paris, managed to work under the tutelage of world-renowned chefs such as Alain Ducasse and Alain Passard.
Throughout his career, he was able to take from each of his mentors the culinary aspects that most identified him with his Italo-Argentine roots. In 2005, with all this rich experience and knowledge, he decided to embark on a personal project and began to look for the ideal place to open his own restaurant.
His gastronomic creations express a clear mix of Italian, French and Argentinean traditions from a naturalistic perspective, where the quality of the raw material and the freshness of the ingredients are the basis of the cuisine.
The only problem was that he didn’t have enough money to carry out his plan, and because he was a foreigner, he couldn’t get a loan or find capital investors. As he searched, Colagreco visited a restaurant for sale with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and a short distance from the border with Italy, a perfect place to express his culinary roots and the gastronomic confluence that identifies him today.
The owner of the property was English magnate Michael Likierman (founder of the Habitat furniture chain in France), who immediately realized that the young chef could not afford to buy the restaurant. After listening to his story for more than an hour, Likierman offered to rent him the space for a very small amount, with the only condition being that he had to pay a symbolic deposit of 50,000 euros and, in the event the business prospered, the chef could buy the property for reasonable monthly payments.
[more-links]Together with a partner, the enterprising chef managed to come up with the money for the deposit plus a few extra euros for the necessary tableware, and put up two of the four floors of the old restaurant. Colagreco and his family moved to the site and, with a team of only three people in the kitchen and two in the dining room, they opened Mirazur.
After only a year of operation, the restaurant was distinguished with its first Michellin star. Since that time, the successes and growth have been continuous. Nowadays, it has a team of 40 people from all over the world who contribute cosmopolitan techniques and knowledge to its cuisine, of clear European style with South American influences. Currently Colagreco leads the kitchens of 12 restaurants spread between France, Argentina, China, Bangkok and, soon, Miami.
His gastronomic creations express a clear mix of Italian, French and Argentinean traditions from a naturalistic perspective, where the quality of the raw material and the freshness of the ingredients are the basis of the cuisine. Mirazur uses organic vegetables from its own vegetable garden, fruits from its own plants and meat and fish from local producers and independent fishermen from the area. Among the most celebrated dishes is a Mirazur specialty, a delightful combination of oysters with tapioca pearls, cream of shallots and pear.
Set in an exuberant natural environment, with splendid views, beautiful decor and a contemporary cuisine of cosmopolitan roots and traditional techniques, Mirazur has become a point of reference for the most demanding lovers of culinary experiences. ■