Lifestyle & Culture

Elena Kalmykova : 5 expat chefs to discover at Taste of Paris this weekend

Less than one day to go till the start of Taste of Paris, a key event in Parisian gastronomic life, where French and expat chefs alike share their passion for food via demonstrations, conferences, master-classes and their own dishes created for pop-up restaurants set up specially for the occasion in Grand Palais.

This year’s programme is remarkable for its variety: the festival offers high-class Michelin-starred concoctions by Anne Sophie Pic as well as edgy bistronomy plates prepared by chefs with unusual national backgrounds.

Here are 5 great chefs … and thus 5 great reasons to try something fresh at Taste this weekend!


A talented Italian chef with a career at Michelin-starred restaurants behind him (Ze Kitchen Galerie, Jules Verne), at present Denny is head of a fashionable bistronomic trattoria in the 15th Arrondissement.

His pop-up for Taste, EPOCA, just like his restaurant, is a creative space where he perfectly blends innovative techniques and traditional regional ingredients from his home country to make simple yet elegant dishes.

A special on the festival menu by Denny: Taglioni with vegetable charcoal, artichokes and Amalfi lemon served with Grana Padano cheese.

GLORIA KABÉ / L’Abattoir Végétal

A native of the rainy UK, Gloria has come to France to make her African vegan cuisine shine in all colours. With more than 3 years of experience in Paris in the restaurant business, she is now head chef of the Abattoir Végétal, a mix of a café, restaurant and coffeeshop.

There, entrees are conceived according to the philosophy of well-being and are inspired by African cooking traditions. This is Kabé’s first time at Taste,

Gloria shall be doing a master-class demonstration on Saturday the 19th of May from 9:15 p.m. till  10:30 p.m. and sharing some useful tips on veggie cuisine, too!

DAN YOUSHA / Balagan

Having just competed in Israel’s Top Chef competition, Dan Yosha set out for Paris at the age of 28 to share his vision of Israeli street-food influenced largely by modern Mediterranean and French traditions.

Balagan (“joyful bazaar” in Hebrew) lives up to the name. With a kitchen open to all visitors of the restaurant, chefs put on a real show to create a dazzling ambiance full of energy with great vibes.

Chef’s exclusive dish for the festival: Destructured kebab with fresh tahini, lemon confit, harissa, tapenade and sesame purée.

BEE SATONGUN / Paste Bangkok

When you hear “Thai cuisine,: the first thing that comes to mind is probably street food with simple ingredients and lots of spices. Taste brings you a new version of Thai cuisine with a cooking class by Bee Satongun, the winner of Best Female Chef in Asia 2018.

Her restaurant, Paste Bangkok, is a Michelin-starred establishment with a menu focused on original Thai flavours and textures with a creative twist to flavours, textures and presentation.

Meet Bee on Sunday 20th May at 3 p.m. for a master-class to learn how to cook one of her signature Thai dishes!


Originally from France, Lucas could not really qualify as an “expat.” On the other hand, the cuisine that he creates at Uma, the restaurant where he is owner and chef, is ever so slightly connected to the French cooking tradition.

The Nikkei concept, which marries Peruvian and Japanese traditions, works wonders, combining sharp and sweet, salty and bitter. The chef is on a constant quest for the perfect and, at times, peculiar flavour combinations.

An amazing starter for your festival meal by Uma : marinated scorpion fish ceviche, tiger’s milk with aji amarillo and raspberry condiment.

Taste of Paris runs now through Sunday at the Grand Palais.

The weekend is divided into seven sessions over 4 days (3 “day” sessions and 4 “evening” sessions. Tickets are valid for a single session at the date and time indicated on the ticket.

You can get them here.

About the author:

Elena Kalmykova is a pastry student from Moscow, Russia.

With a course at Ferrandi and an internship at Cafe Pouchkine behind her, she is looking forward to exploring more of Paris gastronomy scene and sharing her experiences with Dispatches. Follow her around Paris on Insta @elena__kalmykova.


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