A new Chef, a new culinary journey, and a new setting facing the hotel’s Grand Jardin, with 30 seats and the ambiance of a private dining room. Eugénie Béziat welcomes guests with a sensibility rooted in two continents. A rich and textured life experience, influenced by formative years in Africa and professional training in France, allows her to cultivate an instinct for culinary surprise.
Once again, the Ritz Paris displays the kind of audacity that makes it legendary. The arrival of Chef Eugénie Béziat marks a new chapter in the hotel’s history, ushering in a gastronomic offering with an assertive, expressive character, composed by a Chef who trusts her instincts and pursues flavors, scents and associations informed by expertise, mastery of technique and memories of far-flung places.
Eugénie Béziat is a sensitive soul who loves untrammeled paths, rough edges and culinary juxtapositions. Her gastronomic French cuisine is imbued with nostalgia that conjures memories of a childhood and adolescence spent in Africa, in Gabon, the Congo, and the Ivory Coast. And then there are her Mediterranean roots on her mother’s side, cultivated during summers spent with family in Provence.
A singular identity, rounded out by an apprenticeship fulfilled in the highest French tradition, with Michelin-starred mentors such as Chefs Michel Guérard and Michel Sarran. “My signature could be defined as French cuisine that’s constantly searching for tastes and smells from faraway places. It might be reminiscences of sun-scorched earth, a smoky note, the scent of a mango, or the heady memory of an iced Bissap (hibiscus flower) syrup that we always clamored for after school... A marriage of iodine and hot embers!”
Though she composes within an aromatic framework, pushing the balance between acidity, sweetness, bitterness and spiciness to the limit, she also loves the colorful procession of a condimental cuisine informed by spices and other essences.
Espadon restaurant now buzzes with a lobster-cassava-bissap dish that seems to take diners by the hand and lead them on a sensual gourmet voyage. Already a signature dish, it has a delicate aesthetic blending hibiscus, cassava semolina, samphire and sea urchin. Brede mafane oyster delicately blends iodic notes with pungent, peppery watercress. Houdan chicken served in the spirit of Yassa, with an onion baked in a clay crust, concentrates all the hallmarks of an unexpected encounter between acidity and braising.
Steamed à l’étouffée, it plays on contrasts of citrus and smoky notes... The Chef’s lone ambition: to inflame pleasure by breaking the rules.
A WELCOMING AMBIANCE
and a 200 square-meter terrace that opens onto the Grand Jardin at the Ritz Paris
Designed in the spirit of an intimate dining room, Espadon restaurant immerses guests in Eugénie Béziat’s world and her love of nature. In the foyer, a bas-relief of leaves in rhubarb wax pays tribute to Auguste Escoffier’s passion for wax flowers. That first sensory encounter is followed by total immersion: The room’s soft, luminous tones combine muted beige and coppery moldings. A large area rug with a plant motif from the Braquenié collection echoes the vegetation in the hotel’s garden. A superb fixture light in Bohemian crystal runs across the ceiling, evoking pages in an imagined culinary herbarium. At the center of the room, scrolled leaves in crystal reveal aromatic herb prints gilded in gold leaf.
While the bold choice of using irregular, hand-crafted earthenware by Astier de Villatte will catch the eye of aesthetes, it’s the silent ballet of a ten-strong brigade that draws the attention, comprising a live spectacle visible through the kitchen’s large bay windows.
An exceptional feature in the heart of the city, Espadon restaurant’s Burgundy stone terrace sets the stage for magical dinners under a starry Paris sky. Anduze ceramic planters punctuate the space with Mediterranean greenery. Large banquettes nestled under vegetal arches with gentle-hued climbing roses offer an ideal spot for taking in the hotel’s Grand Jardin.
EUGENIE BEZIAT: A CHEF NURTURED BY TWO CONTINENTS
Having spent the first 18 years of her life in Africa, Eugénie Béziat was studying literature in Toulouse when she decided to pursue cooking, her lifelong passion. She began her apprenticeship, absorbing the rigor and French technique of Michel Guérard’s Prés d’Eugénie*** before joining Chef Stéphane Garcia’s Brasserie du Stade Toulousain, one of the best restaurants in the “Ville Rose”. Four years later, the Michelin two-starred Chef Michel Sarran recruited her to work alongside him at his eponymous restaurant in Toulouse, where she became familiar with the kind of discipline and demands that accompany two Michelin stars. Then, the Mediterranean called: in joining Yann Le Scavarec, Chef of La Roya* in Corsica, she reconnected with a part of her own story. She also discovered the strength of a tandem. «It just clicked, with a synergy that gave me all the confidence I needed» So much so, in fact, that she participated in creating the menu and, after the Chef’s departure, struck out on her own. It was at La Flibuste, in Villeneuve-Loubet - coincidentally, the birthplace of Auguste Escoffier - that Eugénie’s talent really came into its own. She decided to reach for a star and delved into her memories, daring to surpass everything she had learned up to that point by looking within. The star landed 18 months later, in 2020, and La Flibuste’s reputation was sealed for singular cuisine unlike any other in the region.
FRANÇOIS PERRET: A PASTRY SIGNATURE
EUgénie Béziat’s arrival resonated like a promise of a shared ambition for Pastry Chef François Perret, who has worked with some of the most illustrious brigades - Michel Troisgros, the Lancaster, Le Meurice, the George V and the Shangri-La - and was crowned World’s Best Restaurant Pastry Chef in 2019. Chef Béziat’s desire to relax the codes of haute gastronomy was particularly intriguing for François Perret, whose nods to childhood have become one of his strongest signatures. “We’re going to nurture one another, bridging Eugénie’s memories with my vision of carefree, simple desserts makes perfect sense. Finishing off the strength of spices with cream from Bresse - my native region - inspires me.” Not one to settle for limitations, François Perret pushes the envelope with unprecedented pastry pairings. An example: spicy Korarima seed from Ethiopia, which the Chef unveils in his delicate crisp soufflé with Madagascar chocolate, or an exquisitely balanced composition of blueberries, fromage blanc and herb salad. Espadon restaurant is all about exchanging freely, with complementary textures and contradictory flavors.
FLORIAN GUILLOTEAU: A NEW APPROACH TO SOMMELLERIE
Having arrived in 2022, the Director of Sommellerie at the Ritz Paris brings new freshness to his role, drawing on some 20 years’ experience in some of the world’s finest establishments, including the three-starred Fat Duck in London and the Auberge du Vieux Puits, alongside Gilles Goujon, in Fontjoncouse.
Convinced that a dinner at Espadon restaurant should be seen as a complete sensory journey, he and Chef Eugénie Béziat propose a global, contemporary approach to a memorable gastronomic moment, restoring pairings of food and beverage to their former glory. Forget the classics: Florian Guilloteau has dreamed up three surprising combinations for Espadon: mets et boissons is the most daring, alternating wines, eaux-de-vie, liqueurs, sakés, infusions, and waters; mets et vins is designed for purists, with a strong point of view and an original take on lesser-known terroirs and winemakers; mets et softs is both alcohol-free and the most unexpected, based on a savvy expertise in jus, broth, fermentation and maceration.