Chef Christian Le Squer, who gave Paris another triple Michelin-starred restaurant earlier this year with Le Cinq restaurant at the Four Seasons George V, has been voted chef of the year by his confreres.
For the 30th edition of Le Chef magazine’s “Chef of the Year” awards, Le Squer took the coveted title after elevating Le Cinq to the exclusive three Michelin-starred club within about a year of taking over the reins of the kitchen.
The award is pitched as the only one of its kind in France for being voted upon by fellow chefs in the industry.
This year, about 6,000 industry chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers and maitres d’hotels were invited to cast votes for their outstanding peers.
It comes as little surprise that Le Squer would take this year’s honor, given the amount of buzz generated following his takeover of the iconic dining destination.
The ambitious chef made no secret of his single-minded vision for the restaurant, proclaiming it his personal and professional mission to give it a third star.
His strategy was to do what he does best: classic French fare executed with masterful techniques honed at his previous post as chef of the Pavillon Ledoyen, where he also earned three Michelin stars.
While the menu at Le Cinq changes seasonally, some of his signature dishes include the turbot with truffled fingerling potato emulsion, crispy prawns from Bretagne and citrus emulsion, and whipped oysters.
The chef describes his cuisine as: “flavors, concentrated and moving.”
Likewise, Le Squer has also made it a priority to become active on social media, spending about an hour a day engaging with fans and sharing recipes.
Pastry chefs across France also expressed their admiration for Nina Metayer of Le Grand Restaurant in Paris, voting her the pastry chef of 2016 for her elegantly turned out desserts.
On Monday night, more than 900 guests – including 400 Michelin-starred chefs – gathered at a gala event at the Lido on the Champs-Elysées to honor this year’s winners and fete the magazine’s 30th anniversary.
Here are the winners:
Chef of the year: Christian Le Squer, for Le Cinq, Paris
Pastry chef of the year: Nina Metayer, Le Grand Restaurant, Paris
Sommelier of the year: Baptiste Cavagna, La Pyramide, Vienne
Service award: Francois Pipala, Paul Bocuse, Collonges au Mont d’Or