Table Ronde: Gathered around the fire

From outside this new restaurant looks quite mysterious: There is no sign whatsoever, no name, nothing. And as often as I came along, nothing happened inside. But then, the other day, I realized that there was something going on inside: People were sitting in a semicircle around a man dressed in white who was very busy, very concentrated at work. There was fire, there were sparks and passion on the way. What the hell is going on here, I asked myself. And it needed a bit of research to find out.

Changing chefs

At the place of the former Japanese canteen Usagi in the Upper Marais opened Table Ronde. It’s not exactly what you can call an ephemeral restaurant. Let’s call it a permanent restaurant with changing chefs. It’s Nicolas Chatenier, 42, who’s what you could imagine as an impresario of French chefs, who imagined the concept which is inspired by the famous American supper clubs.

New talents, fresh passion

Imagine Table Ronde pretty much like a theatre: the place is always the same, the scene is the same, but the play is changing every night. Every once a while, mostly twice a week, a chef will host a dinner. It’s a chance for those from the province to show their art in the capital. But it’s also an opportunity for new talents. Anne-Sophie Pic, the only French female chef with three Michelin stars, was already giving her performance here. Others will follow.

“Meanwhile we have to consider chefs fully as creators”, said Chantenier. And he’s right. That’s why his idea is brilliant (even if it’s a bit copied or let’s say inspired): He created an intimate place with 16 seats only where guests can observe the chefs at work. Most of all: it’s just around the corner from where I live. Table Ronde risks to become my canteen .

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