Delphine Plisson’s backstory begins in regional France, then ESG Business School Paris, followed by a year in New York and LA to learn English. “I had a fascination with food stores such as Dean & Deluca and Joan’s on Third in LA and wondered why there was nothing like them in France”.
Returning to France, Plisson was hired by Yves Saint Laurent to present his fur collection. “A beautiful man”, she sighs. A post with Agnes b followed, then a managerial position with the Group Maje, Claudie Pierlot, and Sandro.
But the call of the culinary never stopped, and, “when I reached 40 I decided to change my life, I believe if you can dream it you can do it”. Two hundred meetings with banks and backers later, Delphine was on a French road trip checking out farmers and producers to supply the crumbling old bicycle depot she was about to transform into Maison Plisson. “My concept is to bring together the best French food artisans all in one place”, she explains.
We look around and from the cinders of the bike shed Maison Plisson has risen, with Prouvé style décor by architects Julie Lafortune and Nicolas André. “In the 60-seat restaurant all the food comes from within a 200 mile radius of Paris”. We’re open 7/7 and there’s hot croissants at 7:30 in the morning, fresh muesli, detox juices and L’Arbre à Café coffee by Hippolyte Courty. I love products and want to share them with my customers, so we have lots of tastings; the last one was Crème Chantilly”.
The adjacent two-level market, with a well-stocked basement wine cellar, showcases artisans and exceptional products from Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) butcher Didier Massot (Wagyu Beef at 280€ kilo0; seasonal cheeses by Ludovic Galfione; and breads and pastries by Benôit Castel.
“We deliver locally for a small fee (3€) and it’s free to expectant mothers. There’s nothing worse than having to carry parcels when you’re pregnant, non?”
Bruno Doucet brings out a delicious dish of signature vanilla rice pudding topped with caramelized dried fruits, his grandmother’s recipe (7€). “You can fall in love with a dish”, insists Delphine. “I used to take my Agnes b clients for lunch at La Régalade, Bruno Doucet’s restaurant, on rue Saint Honoré. I always ordered rice pudding, it became addictive. One day I wrote Bruno a note with the bill, saying “I’m in love with you, and your rice pudding, adding my phone number. He called me, and, not long afterwards, we moved in together! Although they are no longer an item, Delphine says, “he still brings rice pudding, it’s supposed to be for the children, but I always eat it. I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t love food!”
I ask Delphine if there will be more Maison Plissons? “Why not”, she replies. “I could see this concept working in London, New York, Dubai. We’ve got a great concept that will translate very well”.