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Wandering Chef: Dominique Crenn in Paris

By Jen Murphy

Sep 24, 2012

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Dominique Crenn is known for artistic interpretations of fine French cuisine, which she serves at her Michelin-star Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. The Versailles-born chef traveled to Paris last spring to attend the Omnivore festival, a gathering of food visionaries from around the globe. “Experiencing the new culinary wave was so exciting,” says Crenn, who will participate in Omnivore when it stops in San Francisco October 19–21. Here, Crenn shares her Paris highlights.

“I have admired chef Guy Savoy for a decade, and I think he is one of the best chefs in the world. He opened his first restaurant in 1980 and now has a mini empire. He has filled his flagship in Paris with amazing art such as Han Dynasty pottery. My meal there was exceptional. My favorite course was a dish of salmon that was cooked tableside on a piece of dry ice before a server poured hot dashi consommé over it. The resulting texture was almost like sushi.” 18 Rue Troyon, 33/(0) 14-380-4061, guysavoy.com

dominique crenn

“This buzzy restaurant is hidden in a small alley in the second arrondissement. Reservations aren’t accepted, so there’s always a wait, but the owner opened a wine bar across the street for guests to fill the time. At the main restaurant, chef Gregory Marchand serves unpretentious, affordable food. His laid-back dishes, such as wild asparagus with smoked trout, are changing the perception of French cooking.” 5-6 Rue du Nil, 33/(0) 14-039-9619, frenchie-restaurant.com


“When I travel, I often like to find a quiet place where I can meditate. In Paris, Parc Monceau is that place. It’s different from other parks in France for its English style and quirky features—an Egyptian pyramid, for example, and a Dutch windmill. It’s a beautiful and romantic place to escape from the busy city that Paris can often be. I have spent hours there reading and people-watching.” 8th arrondissement at the junction of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony, and Rue Georges Berger

dominique crenn

“Chef Adeline Grattard previously worked at the legendary L’Astrance restaurant. A trip to Hong Kong inspired her to open a 20-seat restaurant that serves delicate, innovative French-Asian cooking. Yam’tcha translates from Cantonese to ‘drink tea,’ and Grattard’s husband pairs the three-, four-, or six-course tasting menu with beautiful teas, such as phoenix oolong and pu’erh.” 4 Rue Sauval, 33/(0) 14-026-0807, yamtcha.com

Illustrations by Michael Hoeweler. This appeared in the October 2012 issue. 

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