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Laurent André, Executive Chef for the Royal Monceau Raffles Paris, at the Hospitality Awards

Laurent André is a passionate defender of seasonal cuisine, exalted by regional products and exceptional craftsmen. He has supervised the creation of the culinary offer at the legendary palace since it reopened in 2010. Under his direction, the hotel’s two restaurants La Cuisine and Il Carpaccio have each earned a Michelin star in 2013.

Born in the Jura, Laurent André, 45 years old, was born into a family of restaurant owners and easily turned to a career in gastronomy. After his apprenticeship, he worked with Alain Chapel in Mionnay, in the Ain. His first mentor initiated him in the importance of arousing pleasure and emotions and the imperative of humility and sacrifices that are also inherent to the trade.

Upon the sudden death of the great chef in 1990, 23-year old Laurent André sought out another important figure in French gastronomy. He became third apprentice chef at the Louis XV, in Monaco, in Alain Ducasse's kitchen at the Hôtel de Paris which had just earned its third Michelin star. In four years he climbed to the top of the brigade to become head of production. In 1995, Alain Ducasse invites him for a new adventure at the renovated La Grande Cascade in the Bois de Boulogne outside Paris, with Jean-Louis Nomicos. In just a year a star was added to this Parisian institution. After time at Le Relais du Parc, Laurent André was invited by Alain Ducasse on a new, more lighthearted, adventure with the opening of the first Spoon Food & Wine in Paris, in 1998.

In light of the success of this new concept, Laurent André was asked to open a Spoon Food & Wine at the Sanderson in London. He set off for six months, but stayed for three years, entering an international dimension that brought him to Asia in 2003 to open a Spoon at the Hotel Intercontinental in Hong Kong. With this experience he acquired new techniques that soon resulted in the responsibility for all the hotel's restaurants as Executive Chef heading 6 restaurants and kitchen staff of 220.

At the beginning of 2009, after spending nearly ten years outside his native land and enjoying discovering all the facets of his profession, he wanted to take up a new challenge. His dream was of an extraordinary project that would allow him to both return to his roots - the excellence of French cuisine - and to demonstrate the broad range of savoir-faire acquired throughout his travels to satisfy a cosmopolitan clientele that is as diverse as it is demanding.

He then met the staff at the Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris, which was undergoing a transformation. For its renaissance, one of the greatest palaces in the capital wanted to conceive a cuisine offering that would be very different from that at its Parisian peers.

Laurent André took up this challenge by building a talented team with Gabriel Grapin (Chef at the French Restaurant La Cuisine), Roberto Rispoli (Chef of the Italian restaurant Il Carpaccio) and master pastry chef Pierre Hermé. The result is rare enough to be noteworthy: Laurent André and his staff simultaneously landed two Michelin stars in 2013: one at the restaurant La Cuisine, the other at the restaurant Il Carpaccio, which became the only Italian restaurant in Paris to earn a Michelin star. During the reception following the award ceremony at the 15th Worldwide Hospitality Awards, Laurent André will present one of his original creations for the pleasure of the event's guests.

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