Over the past few years, rue du Nil has appeared with an expressive facelift becoming something of a gustatory paradise in which Gregory Marchand, travelling chef, is the instigator. His signature, Frenchie, came about a year or so ago and is now the umbrella brand in which his restaurants Frenchie, Frenchie To Go and Frenchie Wine Shop are held under. The adventure of his vision, enthusiasm and passion has continued to spread, resulting in a new address in Londons Covent Garden. Here, we focus on the original restaurant, Frenchie, situated in a little backstreet in the second district of Paris where the atmosphere and flavours allow for escape and invite you to join the Frenchie journey. Complete the adventure on the Académie du goût’s website where you can inspire yourself indefinitely with Grégory and other famous chefs.
Grégory, what is your background before Frenchie?
I went to school in France to learn about the hotel and hospitality business then I travelled around a lot. After that, I spent numerous years working in London but also in Spain, Hong-Kong and a year in New York. After 16 years, the desire to open my open signature came naturally. We opened the first Frenchie in 2009. At that time, there wasn’t much of a scene on rue du Nil except some fabric warehouses. Our ideas had an organic continuance, firstly Frenchie in 2010 followed by Frenchie To Go in 2013 and finally Frenchie Wine Shop in 2015.
How did you come up with the different universes in terms of decor and select the locations?
For the first Frenchie, we worked alone with almost no outside help then two years ago we called on architect and decorated Emilie Bonaventure. Besides the French restaurant, she worked with us on Frenchie Wine Shop and on Frenchie Convert Garden. She was very successful in understanding the universe we wanted to convey without losing the soul we had at the beginning. Frenchie To Go is a slightly different concept and different spirit. It is a take-away inspired by my experiences in London and New York.
What is the soul of Frenchie?
A special something in its cooking and in its environment. It’s not a bar or a restaurant more of a hybrid of the two. You find the blend in many examples, the choice of materials are noble and natural. The fixtures are antique. The plans for the bar were created by architect Pascal Pernin, the zinc is a nod to the rooftops of Paris. The various signs are handmade, sometimes in brass and others painted.
What type of food do you serve?
A modern cuisine that draws its inspiration from international ideas as well as French traditions. Based on local and gourmet products. You can find some of my favorite receipices that I cook everyday at Frenchie on the Académie du goût‘s website. The raw materials dictate what is essentially proposed on the final plate. Without being “terroiriste” where everything is 100% nature, we are mindful about working hard to get the best product we can find. Rue du Nil has become a microcosm, there is a real synergy with the variety of businesses on the street. To find excellent products you simply take a tour of the butcher, fishmonger, baker, greengrocer and so on. The coffee is provided by L’Arbre à Café, of course on rue du Nil.
Crédits : Eve Campestrini@thesocialitefamily