The Restaurant Colette has brought together an enthusiastic and qualified team. This month, we are delighted to introduce you to Philippe Colinet, the chef of the Restaurant Colette, via a question-and-answer session. Read on and learn about Philippe’s experiences and his passion for his culinary art.
What was your gastronomic journey to the Sezz Saint-Tropez?
My professional career began in 1989 in Tours at Jean Bardet, a Michelin Guide 2-star listed restaurant where I had the opportunity to do my apprenticeship. The basic knowledge and experience I acquired there were solid, and I loved working in this exciting world of haute cuisine. This is what allowed me to go on to work with renowned chefs in superb establishments across France such as Martinez in Cannes, Roger Vergé in Mougins, the Auberge des Templiers near Montargis and even Conticini’s La Table d’Anvers in Paris. Subsequently, my wife and I had the opportunity to open our Cap Sud restaurant in Tours before returning to the south and the Bastide de Saint-Tropez. I am now happy to be a part of the Hotel Sezz experience!
What attracted you to the idea of working at the Colette?
First and foremost, of course, the place: an ultra-contemporary, design-oriented hotel that I loved right away. I felt in harmony with the place, and it corresponded well to my culinary vision. I could envisage the full potential of the restaurant. The relationship with the manager Angélique and the owner Shahé Kalaidjian developed quite naturally, just as if we were meant to meet and work together. It was the start of a great professional adventure here at the Sezz.
How would you describe your culinary style?
At the Colette, we create a cuisine based on the produce, a signature cuisine, one that is refined and uses fresh local produce, a cuisine that’s modern, like the place itself.
What are the three essential dishes on your menu?
- Oyster 000 with grilled tamarisk, candied shallots, watercress, charcoal bread
- Locally caught chapon, rock fish soup, aioli, translucent potatoes with fennel
- Cogolin Tomato poached in vanilla syrup, Baux de Provence olive oil ice cream, caramelised bread
You were awarded a Michelin Guide star in your first season at the Restaurant Colette. How did you feel? What do you think are the reasons for this achievement?
First of all, let me say I am delighted and proud that the Restaurant Colette was awarded a Michelin star. The Michelin is the most famous gastronomic guide in the world as well as the oldest, so it has true prestige and complete respectability. I owe this treasured star to my collaborators, my teams, my work, our director Angélique and, of course, to Shahé Kalaidjian, who gave me the opportunity and the means to realise my culinary vision at the Colette.
The Michelin star rewards the work and commitment of a chef, the producers who supply his ingredients, as well as his team of truly committed and enthusiastic people. It allows us to highlight the quality of what we create here, inspired by our dedication to satisfying our guests.
We offer a cuisine that is apparently simple but requires considerable technical expertise. It is based on a respect for the ingredients, precision work on the sauces, and only using seasonal produce that is sourced as close to us as possible. I want our guests to have a good time at our table. As the Michelin inspector came to dine anonymously, I am delighted that we won him over with our identity and that this resulted in the achievement of a star this year.
You are very active on Instagram. What do you like about this social network?
Being on Instagram allows me to share my culinary universe, my meetings with our suppliers, and restaurant news. I find there is an artistic side to it, and I enjoy taking photos. It’s also easy to use and fast.
Finally, can you share with us a little anecdote from the Restaurant Colette?
Last year we had a reservation for two people at the Colette. These guests were not staying in our hotel but with one of our colleagues. They loved that first experience of our cuisine so much that they came back every night during their time in Saint Tropez for dinner!
Restaurant Colette, a unique setting, a singular signature and a modern concept