PAPI, Good Pasta

PAPI, Good Pasta

PAPI may be small, but it’s already mighty. Although it’s been open for just a few months, Étienne Ryckeboer’s new venture, with a menu as short as its name, has become a contender on the Parisian market since it opened in September. Why? A tasty menu that packs a punch, a confluence of French, Italian and Japanese cuisine, orchestrated by Akira Sugiura and his second in command Cyril Pham and designed around two key products, fresh handmade pasta and sourdough pizzas. Two “classic” restaurant staples which are nothing noteworthy alone but show us that PAPI is more than meets the eye. With two Ecotable awards (the no.1 for sustainable catering in France) for their commitment to sustainability, this new restaurant in the 9th district puts the artisan back at the heart of their work. The chef, an artisan who draws from their personal history displaying the fruit of their learning and experience in the four corners of the world for the eyes of the curious. The baker, Thierry Delabre, an artisan bringing ancient, complex and sadly little-known techniques, responsible for the two daily batches of dough at PAPI – putting nature on your plate. And in particular, the artisan who brings everything together. The producer – essential for guaranteeing the quality and freshness of products to be glorified by the PAPI team. Discover these interpretations soon as restaurants re-open in the custom setting designed by Neri&Hu, or as a take away when these open week beginning 18th January

PAPI, 46, rue Richer – 75009 Paris. Telephone: 01.71.27.77.65. 

PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta

Étienne, Akira: can you introduce yourselves, please?

Étienne

I am Étienne Ryckeboer, a 37-year-old restaurateur. I grew up by the seaside in Normandy, and I’m the grandson of a farmer and food producer. I managed restaurants in Paris and in the south, then I set up the oyster-bar Bulot Bulot 3 years ago (since resold) to devote myself to the new PAPI project. I’m passionate about the world of good food in general, and especially about the artisans and producers who make it possible. I’m also very interested in wine, and I took advantage of the second lockdown to achieve the WSET Level 3 Award in wines.

Akira

My name is Akira Sugiura, I am 39 years old, and I have always been a cook. I am Japanese, and I have worked in Japan as well as in Australia, Spain, Italy and finally France. I am passionate about natural wines and sake.

How did you meet each other?

Étienne

Akira and I met at the Lumen restaurant where he used to work. It was obvious that it had to be him and no one else for this project, which is at the crossroads where Italian, French and Japanese cuisine meet.

Why did you choose a short menu, centred around two flagship products: fresh pasta and natural sourdough pizzas?

Étienne & Akira

A short menu very quickly became the obvious choice for both of us, as much in terms of the freshness and quality of the products and the frequently changing menu, as having respect for the seasons: which is a must today! Our menu is divided between fresh home-made pasta, which is Akira’s speciality, and natural sourdough pizzas managed by Thierry Delabre.

PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta

PAPI in one sentence. A place that is relaxed, accessible and timeless, created for people who like to live well by people who like to live well!

PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta

You have teamed up with Thierry Delabre, a sourdough specialist, to refine these pizzas. How are your creations different from those made with “classic” dough?

Étienne & Akira

Yes, indeed, we have called upon Thierry Delabre’s expertise, he is a friend, to help us work on our natural sourdough pizzas. His expertise is vital for us! The complexity of using natural sourdough and organic flours every day explains the fact that there is only a small handful of us working in this way in Paris. On the other hand, the result is well worth the work involved: incomparable flavours and excellent digestibility. Everything is natural, no additives, no chemicals, no yeast. It’s a real return to tradition and, above all, to taste!

How does this translate in terms of production?

Étienne & Akira

We make two mixes every day. Depending on the temperature, the humidity level and also the excellent organic flours – which behave a little differently each time – the dough reacts differently every day. We have to work with it, and we are grateful for the experience and the secrets Thierry, Sophie and Carlos know. But also thanks to a revolutionary dough proofing chamber made especially for PAPI by Thierry Delabre.

Akira, you have travelled a great deal and worked in different countries. What techniques and combinations have you discovered and which are you applying here?

Akira

I’ve worked in quite a few countries, and I’ve learned new techniques each time. But I always come back to the basic ones that I learned in Japan. I think the technical skills involved in the use of kitchen knives and the handling of ingredients are among the best in the world! On the other hand, it is fascinating how these different cultures can combine. I think, for example, that the three years I spent in Italy gave me a lot of confidence. All these combinations make me who I am today.

PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta

What is your favourite ingredient, the one you always have in your fridge?

Akira

In my fridge, I always have… eggs! You can use them in so many different ways; they are a real source of creativity.

You have just been awarded 2 Écotables (a label that promotes the most sustainable restaurants so that they can be identified by the general public). How does this translate into everyday life?

Étienne

For us, Écotable is a recognition of the commitment we have put into the restaurant since its opening. It’s the leading award for sustainable restaurants in France. It shows that we are committed to adopting a long-term approach that respects both health and the environment. This includes, for example, working with fresh, raw and mainly organic products. But we also respect the seasons, the origin of the produce, the absence of egg products from caged hens, the use of traditionally made drinks and so on.

Why is this so important for PAPI?

Étienne

Écotable is extremely important for PAPI because we share the same values: environmental responsibility, ecological consistency, strong commitment, sustainable cuisine and respect for mankind. And, basically, at the heart of all this, pleasure and flavour!

And finally, if you had to define your restaurant in a single sentence, what would that be?

Étienne

PAPI in one sentence. A place that is relaxed, accessible and timeless, created for people who like to live well by people who like to live well!

PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta
PAPI, Good Pasta

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