Hélène Darroze: High-class gastronomy; where local food meets tradition and modernity (1/3)

Name : Hélène Darroze
 
Age : 47
 
Occupation : Multi-Michelin-starred chef (1*) “Restaurant Hélène Darroze” in Paris
and 2 (*) at “Hélène Darroze at the Connaught” in London.
 
Place of birth : Villeneuve de Marsan in the Landes (France)
 
Place of employment : “Restaurant Hélène Darroze” in Paris and
“Hélène Darroze at the Connaught” in London.  

 

 

“The main theme of this culinary division: exceptional produce, in particular from her own southwestern region, prepared and presented with a local, unique twist.”

Hélène Darroze’s roots lie firmly in the southwest of France.

 
Hélène is the fourth generation of a family of chefs/restaurant owners from the Landes, which includes a grandfather with two Michelin stars to his name. Although Hélène practically grew up in the kitchen, she didn’t initially intend to become a chef. As her parents encouraged her to obtain a degree, she ended up graduating from a renowned French business school in Bordeaux.
 
When Hélène later started working in the office of the prestigious Louis XV restaurant in Monaco, chef Alain Ducasse eventually encouraged her to cook.
 
Four years after stepping behind the family stove at Relais & Château in Villeneuve de Marsan, which her father entrusted to her in 1995, Hélène decided to stand on her own two feet.
 
She opened her own restaurant in 1999, in the capital’s rue d’Assas in Saint-Germain des Prés, the neighbourhood where she used to study and of which she was particularly fond.
Her restaurant, “Hélène Darroze”, earned its first Michelin star less than a year after opening its doors.

A big fan of local produce, especially from the Landes and the Basque Country, Hélène serves diners exciting, ever-evolving dishes combining tradition and modernity.


Three different spaces, three different atmospheres

At Hélène Darroze, high-class gastronomy is savoured in a warm, mellow contemporary setting, which has been designed by Henri Becq.
 
The restaurant features three different spaces, which each have their own atmosphere: the Salon d’Hélène, a more feminine space where diners can enjoy tapas, the Salle à Manger, the gastronomic restaurant itself, and the Table du Sommelier.
 
In 2008, she was asked to step in at The Connaught Hotel in London, in the world-renowned Mayfair area. Two years after its opening, “Hélène Darroze at the Connaught” went on to receive two Michelin stars.
The French-British menu combines local produce with international influences. The decor is refined and elegant: wooden panelling, Baccarat glasses, Bernardaud plates, Hermes tea and coffee cups…The man behind the design is India Mahdavi.
 
As a result, Hélène Darroze takes the Eurostar every week and divides her time between Paris and London. The main theme of this culinary division: exceptional produce, in particular from her own southwestern region, prepared and presented with a local, unique twist. The cuisine is creative and always inspired by emotions.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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