“The oeuf mayo is as useful in the kitchen as a paper-clip in an office.”
— Claude Lebey French Food Critic, journalist founder of Guide Lebey
The late great Monsieur Claude Lebey (1923-2017) is responsible for my love of l’oeuf mayo. For the founder of ASOM (the Association for the Preservation of the Egg Mayonnaise), a day without this traditional entrée was a day without meaning. So I’m intrigued to discover that — with what the French call “une belle initiative” — B Signature Hôtels and Resorts are paying homage to my favorite bistro starter at their fabulous addresses, from Saint Bart’s to Brittany via Paris.
Chef Jérôme Jullion dedicates “L’Œuf de Marguerite” (€12) not to me, but to French novelist, playwright, screenwriter and experimental filmmaker, Marguerite Duras. “Madame lived next door, at No. 5 rue Saint-Benoit, for more than 50 years,” he explains. Jullion’s dish takes inspiration from La Cuisine de Marguerite, a little jewel of a notebook published after her death in 1996. According to the chef, his “L’Oeuf de Marguerite” is a Paris/Saigon journey, the mayo made with sesame oil, studded with black seaweed, wasabi, chives, accompanied by a carrot, cucumber, and coriander salad, seasoned with pimento.” Match with a Burgundy Chablis (Jean-Marc Brocard, 2020, €16).
7 rue Saint-Benoit, 6th
Tel: 01 42 61 53 53
The luxurious “L’Œuf Mimosa au Jajik® de chez Petrossian” (€13) sees the mayo seasoned with jus de Kalamansi, before adding the egg yolks, chives and saumon Jajik®, a few salad leaves to garnish and a sprinkle of Petrossian’s Fleur de Caviar® dried caviar with a highly concentrated flavor and a crunchy texture – voila! Try with a glass of Sancerre, Domaine Vacheron, 2016 (€16).
3, rue Montalembert, 7th
Metro: rue du Bac
Tel: 01 45 49 68 68
La Cuisine de l’E7 restaurant has a shiny new dining room designed by the very elegant Christophe Daudré. “L’Œuf Mimosa aux petits pois frais” (€13) showcases summer attitude with seasonal fresh peas and egg yolks sprinkled on top like fragrant mimosa. Pair with a glass of Viognier 2017 (€12).
39, avenue de L’Opera, 2nd
Tel: 01 42 61 56 90
Hôtel du Domaine de la Bretesche au Club
Jean Pierre Honorin (formerly at the temporarily closed Les Etangs de Corot) presents “Œuf Mimosa déstructuré aux Herbes du potager” (€13), the chef’s spin on the herbs he plucks on his morning walk around the herb garden. Don’t miss the sparkling cocktail “Le Club” (€12), made with St Germain liqueur, Crémant brut, and cream of blackberry.
44780 Missillac, Brittany
Tel: 02 51 76 86 96
“Mon Œuf” (€21), created by executive chef Anthony Martel, has spicy herb attitude. To sit by the pool and enjoy without moderation and some Havana Club rum, rum and more rum (€22).
Anse des Cayes, Saint Barthélemy, Caribbean
Tel: +590 590 276655
Green asparagus with Truffled Oeuf Mimosa (€21) takes inspiration from the best seasonal products that French market gardeners have to offer. Pair it with the Champagne Charles Heidsieck (€18).
41 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 8th
Metro: George V
Tel: 01 53 23 75 75
This most romantic restaurant is beneath a stained glass dome designed by Gustave Eiffel. The kitchen, almost open, showcases the theater of culinary arts seen through a large window. Pure magic! L’Oeuf Mimosa – every which way – a delicious surprise that changes according to the market (€28). “Reinventing in order to rediscover the best of traditional French and international cuisine” is the mission of V, the restaurant of the Vernet. Don’t miss the cocktail of the month (€18).
25 rue Vernet, 8th
Tel: 01 44 31 98 00
Need to know: The legend of Oeuf Mayo as told to me by Claude Lebey
English nobleman John Doeuf lived in Paris during WWI (1914-1918). “Time passes, only the eggs last” was the family motto. Doeuf had his habitudes and would eat his eggs daily Chez Eugène, rue des Capucines, near the Ritz Hotel, where he was staying. One day Doeuf sat on the next table to William Jones Mayo, a young doctor based at the U.S. Embassy. They discovered, and discussed, a mutual love of eggs and Doeuf complained that, although he loved to eat them, he found the hard boiled variety rather dry. Mayo suggested Doeuf ask the chef to cut them in half and top them with sauce mayonnaise, invented by his grandfather. Thus was born “l’oeuf mayo.” The young doctor subsequently returned to the USA and founded the famous Mayo Clinic, specializing in the treatment of cholesterol. The final word goes to Claude Lebey, “Egg Mayo is good for cholesterol, in case you don’t have enough!”
Lead photo credit : Egg Mimosa © Shutterstock