My Paris: Interview with Chef Thibault Sombardier

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My Paris: Interview with Chef Thibault Sombardier
When Thibault Sombardier composes a new dish, his inspiration comes from memories of his Burgundy-Beaujolais childhood. A leader of the pack of Paris’ most exciting and diverse chefs, Sombardier has a CV taking in Michelin-starred restaurant Antoine (closed since Covid) and competing alongside France’s finest culinary talent in the 2014 season of Top Chef, winning second place. He combines haute cuisine with a unique contemporary style of cooking — discover his innovative cooking at Sellae,  Mensae, and the just open – achingly chic – Les Parisiens. Between saucepans, Thibault agreed to answer a few lifestyle questions.   Photo courtesy of Les Parisiens What does Paris mean to you?   The unique atmosphere of “la vie Parisienne” in restaurants, on the streets, everywhere there’s the inimitable “vie bohème.” Share an espresso or bottle of wine with a Parisien/Parisienne – past or present- who would it be?  Definitely Jean Gabin (1904-1976). He represents the true spirit of Paris in days gone by. And I adore his “ti-ti” accent.    Jean Gabin, 1958. © Mondadori Publishers/Wikimedia Commons One thing every Parisian should own?  A bicycle! And Paris’ bike cafés are the perfect place for bikes, accessories, advice, snacks. At Le Peloton Café in the Marais (4th), there’s a great choice and good coffee. Jour de Vélo (12th) is on the charismatic rue de Cîteaux – a fun address for wannabe Bernard Hinaults! A favorite lunch?  Le Bizetro: An authentic brasserie, 6 rue Georges Bizet in the 16th. Les vins du Beaujolais, des copains, du saucisson! 
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Lead photo credit : ©Thibault Sombardier

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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 It.com, 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 !