Ever since his childhood in the Loiret, Christophe Moret has had a deep attachment to freshly grown produce.
"My passion for vegetables comes from my grandparents, who were market gardeners. I have wonderful memories of fresh spring vegetables bursting with life! Eating raw, crunchy beans and peas straight from the vegetable garden," Chef Moret said.
Appreciative of such culinary delights, he quickly learned how to cook. Wednesdays spent making clafoutis, cakes and pies progressed naturally to the secondary catering school in Blois, followed by an apprenticeship in starred establishments in Gien and the Haut-Rhin. In 1988, his discovery of the South of France was a revelation.
"I had the good fortune to work with three amazing chefs: Bruno Cirino, Jacques Maximin and, of course, Alain Ducasse. At the Grand Hotel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Bruno Cirino would go the market every day in the Spanish Basque country and bring back live fish. Sometimes, we would have a sea bass swimming among the lobsters in the restaurant’s tank," the chef said.
Having been made chef de partie at Château Eza, Chef Moret joined another genius at the stove, Jacques Maximin, the following year.
"It was there that I learned about organisation and presentation within a brigade of 25 chefs," Chef Moret said.
His dream came true in 1990, when he went to work at Le Louis XV, which had just won its third Michelin star.
"Alain Ducasse has the ability to soak up different cultures from all over the world. And he passed this insatiable curiosity on to me," the chef said.
Convinced that Paris represented an essential stage in his career, Chef Moret rejoined Bruno Cirino at the Royal Monceau, where he was responsible for banquets. Having added this extra string to his bow, he then went to 59 Poincaré and had "a very formative experience", before taking on a new challenge, now with the title of head chef: the opening of Spoon, Food & Wine and offering Parisians a multi-ethnic cuisine.
"This represented a huge challenge: we had to be capable of producing a perfect Satay, just as you would find in Bali, or authentic Tandoori Chicken Wings," Chef Moret said of the experience.
For five years, he practised an innovative blend of ethnic cuisine at Spoon. Wok dishes required precisely cut, carefully seasoned ingredients lightly cooked to perfection. In 2003, he took charge of the Alain Ducasse Restaurant at the Plaza Athénée.
"This was a great honour, like being made the guardian of a temple, and I had to make sure that I kept the three stars."
The desire to cook under his own name led him to Lasserre, a true Parisian institution, in 2010.
Chef Moret now proposes his inspired cuisine at Shangri-La Hotel, Paris as executive chef. Behind the valour of the former flanker for Orléans Rugby Club is a desire to express himself through a very carefully prepared elegant cuisine.
"A total commitment, giving a large part of myself to my cooking every day, is the path I have chosen. I am here to offer every customer a unique experience in our restaurants," the chef said.
In addition to L’Abeille, a one-star French restaurant offering gourmet cuisine, Shang Palace, the only Cantonese restaurant in France to have been awarded a star, and La Bauhinia serving both French and Asian cuisines, Chef Moret orchestrates all of the hotel’s culinary offerings, from the menus for the meeting rooms (850 m²) to the room service menu.
"This exceptional chef won me over with his strong culinary personality, his formidable technical skill and his open-minded attitude. He shares the values of Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, namely, respect, courtesy, sincerity and humility. With Christophe Moret, a new chapter begins in the history of this hotel that is destined to shine in the world of French gourmet cuisine," said Stefan Bollhalder, the hotel’s general manager.
Chef Christophe Moret’s career
2010–2014 Lasserre, Paris – Head Chef
2003–2010 Restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée, Paris – Head Chef
1998–2003 Spoon, Food & Wine, Paris – Head Chef
1997–1998 59 Poincaré, Paris – Sous Chef
1994–1997 Le Royal Monceau, Paris – Sous Chef
1993 L’Assiette Gourmande, Honfleur – Sous-Chef
1990–1993 Le Louis XV, Monaco – Chef de Partie
1989 Le Théâtre, Nice – Chef de Partie
1989 Château Eza, Èze (Alpes-Maritimes) – Chef de Partie
1988 Le Grand Hôtel, Saint-Jean-de-Luz – Commis Chef
1987–1988 Le Château d’Isenbourg, Rouffach (Haut Rhin) – Commis Chef
1985–1986 Le Rivage, Gien – Commis Chef
1984–1985 L’Hôtel de la Poste, Corps la Salette (Isère) – Commis Chef