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“I am Argentinean, Italian and French, but above all I am a chef that takes inspiration from everything, especially the Mediterranean terroir,” Mauro Colagreco said, in July 2019, when he received the highest award from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants organization for his restaurant, Mirazur, located on the French Riviera. What set’s this chef apart from the rest is his unique concept of creating food that is not geographically or culturally limited. “The terroirs for cooking are not on a map, they are in our hearts, in our memories and in our experiences,” he said.
Mirazur’s Unique Environment
The experience created at Mirazur is impossible to create elsewhere, he said. “The French Riviera is special because of the people, its products, its biodiversity and its style,” he adds. In addition to the restaurant’s unique location, Chef Colagreco, manages to create an incomparable experience by combining local flavors and produce from his garden, with the individual and collective influence of his team, made up of different nationalities.
However, as he focuses his efforts on including as many local ingredients and flavors to his dishes as possible, he has begun to notice how quickly resources have diminished around the world, contributing to sustainability issues. Because of this he has pledged to continue using local products to help combat this. “My kitchen has no borders, it is love and respect for others and the world,” he said, “my garden provides up to 30% of Mirazur’s produce.”
Aside from his passion for sustainable cooking, Chef Colagreco, loves to spend time at home with his family. “To continue enjoying what I do, I need my own space for my private life to share with his children and family,” he said.
From The Beginning To Now
When Chef Colagreco first opened his restaurant, Mirazur, he recalls that François Simon, one of the strictest and most feared restaurant critics in all of France, sat at one of his tables. He and his staff anxiously awaited his critique and were pleasantly surprised and elated with his complimentary remarks in Le Figaro, a French daily morning newspaper. This critique, he said, was the beginning of Mirazur’s success.
Since then, the chef has gone to earn three Michelin stars, Gault & Millau guide’s “Revelation of the Year” and “Best Chef of the Year award” and was named Grand Chef for Relais & Cháteaux. He also received the National Order of Merit, by the French government, among other notable distinctions. When speaking of his accomplishments, the chef, who is born in La Plata, Argentina, expresses great respect and admiration for his Argentine teachers; Carlos “Gato” Dumas, and Beatriz Chomnalez, who was his first great teacher, and the person who prompted him to come to Europe. Once he settled in Paris, Colagreco studied at the Lycée hôtelier de La Rochelle and worked under the guidance of established chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Bernard Loiseau, Alain Passard, and Guy Martin, an experience that grew his desire to open his own restaurant.
Mirazur: A Global Influence Fueled By Local Flavors
Mirazur restaurant is reminiscent of an oasis of peace, located between the sea and the mountains in Menton. From the restaurant’s tables you can appreciate the magnificence of the Mediterranean, accompanied by the faint aromas coming from the garden nearby. In addition to Mirazur, Chef Colagreco, has restaurants in Paris, Macao, Bangkok, Beijing, and Palm Beach, adding to his global presence.
“I am proud of all of the projects we have put forward and I look forward to what comes next,” he said. ■