BUZZ: Guy Martin’s Legion D’Honneur, Flora’s Auberge Opens, Le Dali Celebrates 5 Years & Les Etangs has a New Chef

BUZZ: Guy Martin’s Legion D’Honneur, Flora’s Auberge Opens, Le Dali Celebrates 5 Years & Les Etangs has a New Chef
This week, in a moving ceremony at The Cristal Room, Musée Baccarat, Guy Martin chef/owner of Le Grand Vefour received “Officier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur”. Presenting him with his red ribboned medal Joseph Olivereau, President d’Honneur of Relais & Chateaux, said he doesn’t know how Guy Martin manages 5 restaurants, travels, authors books, skis, and still dreams of being Mick Jagger!” Receiving the award, with a smile and a tear, Guy Martin said he was dashing back to his kitchen for the evening service and, no he wasn’t planning to pin his medal on his whites, “that would be disrespectful to the history of the Legion d’Honneur”, he thought. Provenҫe born Flora Mikula learned to cook from her grandmother, chose a career as a chef so she could travel the world. After New York, London and Italy, returning to France, Flora met and married Raphael Peraud while they were working for Alain Passard at Arpége, Paris. Together they launched the left-bank bistro “Les Olivades”, dedicated to Provenҫal cuisine and, by this time, Flora was hailed as one of Europe’s top women chefs. Their culinary evolution followed with “Les Saveurs de Flora” in Paris’s posh “Golden Triangle” off the Champs Elysées. “But, we always talked of opening our own urban auberge, to express our personalities”, explains Flora. Having sold “Les Saveurs” the couple took time-out to find the perfect address, which they found in the Bastille area. “Auberge de Flora” just launched and, it’s “ze place to be”. Together with Flora, interior architects Simone&hug renovated a crumbling three story former hotel.  There’s bright contemporary décor throughout the 21 rooms which showcase precious pieces, chtochkes and fabrics from Flora’s world travels. Vegetables grow in the window-boxes and she’s proud of the super-comfy beds in each category of room. “The same as Sofitel”. On the ground floor the airy 30-seater brasserie nas a terrace and semi-open kitchen. “The accent’s on Mediterranean dishes with a modern spin, served all day, every day”, says Flora. Worth going for the: Sablé au thym, légumes grillé, burrata fondue. A flute of Auberge Flora champagne (5€) Thierry Breton’s crusty bread at lunch, olive bread by Flora at dinner. Le foie-gras mi-cuit chutney mangue. The dishes of the day, say, Suprème de Pintade farcie au chèvre, galette de Polenta aux olives. Book well ahead and enjoy being chez Flora, don’t miss the local markets Aligré (daily except Monday) and Richard Lenoir (Sunday & Thursday). Auberge de Flora,44 boulevard Richard Lenoir 11thT: 01 47 00 52 77Metro: BastilleWi-FiAverage spend 25€ + tapas/ wineRooms about 100€ + breakfast 12€ At Le Dali restaurant, named for Salvador (and approved by his family) who spent one month a year at Le Meurice often dangling live lobsters from his suite above rue de Rivoli. Bernadette Chirac always sits, surrealistically, with her back to the room, but there’s no doubt it’s the former first lady. Thierry Ardisson has his favourite table, as do Vincent Lindon, Harrison Ford, Brangelina etc. Le Dali brasserie launched in 2007 with stunning ceiling décor by Ara Starck and a little help from papa.  To mark five years of an exceptional address, chef Yannick Alleno has re-worked the menu and created “Cuisine de Palace”, read modern French favourites, based on the classics. Begin with a few exquisite antipasti a “speck” of delicatessan then: Grilled aubergine, mozza and shrimp “au pistou”: Blue lobster salad with coral: Tomato and Basil salad, and, for the ladies who do, Lettuce heart and green asparague with duck foie gras shavings. Scrambled eggs and salmon: Club sandwich: Bouillabaisse: Mains include Salmon lasagna with sorrel: Roasted quail: Black Angus rib steak and The New York Times “The Best Burger in Town”.  Drink wines by the glass, ask chef sommelier Estelle Touzet, and also check out her wine tastings “Les Nocturnes du 228”. Desserts by Camille Lesecq (Pastry Chef of the Year 2010) are epic. His variations on the classics are displayed in “L’Armoire Patisserie” (just near where Mme Chirac sits) because they do “Tea-Time” at Le Dali as well. Saint-Honoré Rivoli-style. Dacquoise, Lemon Meringue Tart, Roasted rhubarb, vanilla, rosemary infused panacotta. I wonder which table Dali would insist on? Probably near the door, Babou, the pet ocelot, may need the space. And certainly Dali would approve of the the VIP service at the hotel, Very Important Pet that is, in hommage to the hotel workers who, in 1905, befriended a stray greyhound who became Le Meurice’s mascot. So, if you take your hound to the hotel expect a tag and bowl engraved with its’ name, toys, and walkies with the groom in the Tuileries while you do lunch back to back with the stars. Rover’ll sleep as well as you in his Dali inspired haute couture faux-fur trimmed “The Sofa O”. Oh My Dog! Le Dali at Hôtel Meurice,228, rue de Rivoli, 1Metro: TuileriesT: 01 44 58 10 75Open 7/7 Just a few minutes from Pont de Sevres, Paris, Les Etangs de Corot is a chic mini-resort, ideal for a weekend, almost without going anywhere! There are 3 suites, 41 rooms, three restaurants, a Caudalie Vinotherapie spa, the possibility to ride bikes, walk through the lush forest des Fausses-Reposes (circa 1684) or visit nearby Versaille to take in the new summer exhibition created by Joana Vasconcelos, “la bomba latina”. If you go marketing at Versailles on Tuesday, Friday or Sunday you may run into La Rochelle born Rémi Chambard, new young toque in charge of Les Etang’s kitchens. His formation is impressive, le Royal Barrière, Deauville, l’Hotel du Palais, Biarritz with Didier Anies at Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat and Nicolas Masse at Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, small wonder then…

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !