French chef Pierre Gagnaire is to close his restaurant in a Moscow luxury hotel, a spokeswoman said Monday, with Russian media blaming the economic crisis and the embargo on many Western foods for the decision.
DEPARDIEU TO OPEN HIS OWN RESTAURANT IN MOSCOW
“After five years of fruitful cooperation with Pierre Gagnaire, Les Menus restaurant is closing because of the agreement running out at the end of March,” a spokeswoman for Lotte Hotel, which houses the restaurant, said.
Business daily Vedomosti suggested the reason for the closure was the difficulty in obtaining Western food due to the embargo imposed by Russia in retaliation for Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
The report also said the economic crisis, which has seen the ruble plunged in value, was to blame – most luxury foods have to be imported to Russia.
Gagnaire is known for his innovative molecular cuisine. His Paris restaurant gained three Michelin stars in 1998 and has retained them ever since. He has 11 restaurants in cities across the world from Dubai to Las Vegas.
He is among a number of top chefs to have opened restaurants in Russia during the years of economic prosperity fuelled by high oil prices.
French chef Helene Darroze, whose restaurant “Helen Darroze” in Paris has gained one Michelin star and whose London restaurant in the Connaught Hotel has two stars, opened a Moscow restaurant in 2012.
Numerous attempts to transplant Michelin-starred chefs to Moscow have ended in failure in recent years, however.
Jeroboam restaurant, which opened in the Ritz Carlton hotel under German chef Heinz Winkler closed in 2009.
Koumir restaurant, a franchise of the Maison Troisgros restaurant in Roanne, central France, launched in 2006 but closed its doors after a year.
Lotte Hotel’s spokeswoman said it would open a new restaurant with a “chef renowned worldwide” offering “modern European cuisine.”