Korean street food, izakaya joints, taquerías, and neo-bistros helmed by foreigners have elbowed their way onto Paris’s once insular restaurant scene. Two local chefs break down the new landscape.
The expat: Daniel Rose, Spring/La Bourse et La Vie
“Foreign cooks have always been drawn to Paris to train, but they used to head home after finishing their stage. Then something shifted: Ten years ago, it was unheard of for chefs under 30 to open their own place in Paris. But when a few of us in the big kitchens did break out on our own with no money and tiny spaces, we stoked a revolution. Foreign cooks saw it was possible to start up something here, and they stayed in Paris after they had mastered the techniques. Many of them have a more rock ’n’ roll approach; they’re not paralyzed by anxiety about what people think. That’s refreshing for Parisians, and it’s why they line up for burgers, book ahead for Korean fried chicken and cocktails at Hero, and wake up early on Sundays for a Japanese chef’s take on brunch at Dersou.”
The Frenchman: Olivier Le Corre, Tannat
“Parisian chefs are no longer in a culinary bubble. Foreign chefs’ flexibility to infuse elements from their own cultures has done great things for food in the city. Now we’re all looking for new flavors, and we’re more willing to experiment. I’ve done my own version of a traditional Cambodian chicken and rice soup as an appetizer, adding shiitake mushrooms, soy, and egg. At the end of the day, a more international presence in the city is better for those who want to try something new and interesting, whether that comes from modern bistros or street food.”