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“We must be responsible consumers – it’s important to know where our products come from and how they’re made.” –Mauro Colagreco
Mauro Colagreco, the dynamic Italo-Argentinian chef, came to France 20 years ago and honed his skills with top chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Alain Passard, Bernard Loiseau and Guy Martin.
Taking inspiration from the French Riviera, the mountains, land and sea, and the herb gardens he cultivates at his two Michelin star Mirazur in Menton, Mauro’s dishes are colorful and bold, playing with different textures and flavors.
Ah! Mirazur – the unique clifftop restaurant, the last eatery before the Italian border, ranked 4th by World’s 50 Best Restaurants. In 2012, Mirazur was awarded two Michelin stars with Mauro named “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government, and “Grand Chef” by the Relais & Châteaux Global Fellowship (2013). In 2017, Mirazur became a member of Great Tables of the World (Les Grandes Tables du Monde).
In 2015, encouraged by his critical and professional success, in a historic cobblestone courtyard setting in the Marais district of Paris, Mauro launched the brasserie called Grand Coeur. An immediate success, the restaurant’s cuisine reflects his style: light, bright, generous and creative.
Restaurant Mirazur has been awarded a third Michelin star in the 2019 edition of the prestigious Michelin Guide France at the January launch ceremony in Paris. “In this region of shifting territories, overlapping maps and blurred boundaries, Mirazur offers a cuisine without frontiers, inspired by products and people,” say the Michelin Guide. Commenting Mauro said, “How can I begin to express such overwhelming emotion and gratitude! Gratitude firstly towards my team for their dedication over the years; gratitude towards my family, for their sacrifice and support; gratitude towards our loyal guests for their continued support; gratitude towards our local purveyors providing us with the best products of the region; gratitude towards Michelin and their guide for recognizing our work from the beginning; and finally gratitude towards France – a country where I chose to express myself, that adopted me, transmitting its values of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”
Of his Argentinian childhood, Mauro recalls: “During family vacations with my grandmother Amalia, I was always the lucky grandson chosen to help her prepare the fresh dough, brioche bread and wonderful tomato sauce with garlic and basil, which would simmer for hours. The smell of the wood fire and the freshly picked tomatoes, still warm from the South American sun, are memories I keep in my heart.”
And so, with the publication of Mirazur, the beautiful coffee table tome, Mauro was eligible for Champagne Collett’s prestigious annual literary award.
Within the beautifully photographed pages (by Eduardo Torres) the chef shares 65 favorite recipes and introduces the reader to artisans and producers who form part of his life and thus a key role in the restaurant – from Manuela and Lionel, artisans of the sea – to Anne Marie and her family of shepherds – and René and Sophie’s cheeses from altitude. Mauro explains: “In the book, I try to convey the deep love binding me to this land and the gratitude I feel to each farmer, fisherman, producer, who make it possible to offer exceptional products to diners.”
For the prize, each selected chef presented their volumes to the eight jury members, during an exclusive epicurean champagne dinner at Espace Gaggenau in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. After much deliberation Colagreco was voted winner of the 6th edition and received his prize from Olivier Charriaud, jury president and GM of Champagne Collett.
“The year 2018 was rich and full of surprises. There was the publication of Mirazur, my first book, the fruit of a journey that started 12 years ago and, along the way, I met many new friends, foodies, and like-minded people, passionate about the fragrant border territory that surrounds Mirazur.
“I think of the pages as sprinkling seeds of goodness – everyone’s invited to cultivate their own secret garden. I’m honored and grateful to have been elected 2018 winner of the Champagne Collet Award. This is an important next step for Mirazur’s team, my family, Julia, my wife, and my children – a prize I welcome with joy and for which I thank Champagne Collet with all my heart!”
For more on Mirazur the restaurant, click here.
Mirazur by Mauro Colagreco: Illustrated by Eduardo Torres. Published by Editions Alain Ducasse. Available in English/French/Spanish at all good bookstores or purchase on Amazon below:
Lead photo credit : Chef Mauro Colagreco. Photo: Matteo Carassale