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Leisurely gardener, passionate chef: Mauro Colagreco

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes
Previous Article On top of the world

Mauro Colagreco, an Argentinian chef with Italian roots in France, is living his best life. His restaurant, Mirazur, and its gardens are perched atop a jagged cliff in Menton, a Côte d’Azur village famous for its lemons.

France’s most renowned haute-cuisine chef is at home here, with the protective Alps at his back, the vast Mediterranean Sea spread out before him, and the green oasis of his gardens surrounding him. This is where the now 42-year-old chef and his family feel a sense of belonging.

And this is where he’s rewriting the book on gourmet cooking. Colagreco has his own, fresh personal style. He captures the flavors of the region and blends them with those of his own Argentinian-Italian heritage (though of course he’s not shy about drawing upon other cultures as well). Herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers – many of them from his own gardens – turn his dishes into unique cornucopias of color and flavor. Each plate that leaves his kitchen is a brilliant rainbow of a composition, radiating joy and love of live.

With the meticulous care he puts into choosing his products and refining each dish, it’s no wonder that his restaurant was recently selected as THE WORLD´S BEST RESTAURANT 2019, marking the journey with Michelin stars in 2007 (one), 2012 (two) and 2019 (three). The distinction marks a new milestone for French culinary tradition as well: Colagreco is the first foreign-born chef to earn three stars in France. In fact, his food isn’t really even French.

But he’s definitely a “French chef” by virtue of his exceptional training under the Top Ten of the French culinary world. In 2002, fresh out of culinary school, he was searching for a mentor, and managed to snag a job in Bernard Loiseau’s kitchen. After that, he went on to Alain Passard in Paris; positions under Alain Ducasse and Guy Martin followed. Finally, he decided to take the plunge and start a restaurant of his own. All he needed was the right location, which he found, and then Mirazur (#1 – THE WORLD´S BEST RESTAURANT 2019) opened its doors on April 1, 2006.

Colagreco often spends hours in his gardens, probably nearly as much time as he does in the kitchen… or in a plane, for that matter. Besides his business in France, he’s also running a burger chain by the name of Carne in Argentinia, plus he’s developing new concepts for restaurants in Palm Beach and Bangkok.

As high-flying as he is, though, Mauro Colagreco still has both feet on the ground. Probably because it makes it easier to tend his vegetables.

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