“It is early to open the restaurants, before we must protect our team and our customers”

For years it has been the loose verse of French gastronomy and Mauro Colagreco has again distanced himself from the position of the guild Gallic of haute cuisine launching a message of prudence in the face of the lack of confidence demanded by his colleagues, led by Alain Ducasse. “It is still early, there is no need to open to open, putting our customers and teams at unnecessary risk”, said the chef from Mirazur, current number 1 in the world according to the 50Best list, in an online chat with students from the Basque Culinary Center. Colagreco, who is part of the chefs association that last Monday set out his demands in a gallery of the newspaper ‘Le Figaro’, revealed that he has preferred not to sign the letter.

Mr President, help us make this terrible ordeal an opportunity to invent a better world in which living is a pleasure. Reopen the restaurants », 17 members of the French Culinary College were demanding Among which are some of the most prestigious professionals in the country, such as Ducasse himself, Éric Pras, Yannick Alléno or Anne-Sophie Pic. They also set out a series of commitments to food security and social distancing that would allow the blind to be lifted with certain sanitary guarantees.

However, Colageco believes that “if too many restrictions are put in, it may not be worth opening because it will not be attractive to customers”. In his opinion, when the confinement is finally lifted “the customer will be much more sensitive when choosing” and he maintains that “the economic factor is not going to be the only one that will guide their consumption.” In this sense, although he acknowledges that it is difficult to predict the mood of the public, he ventures that “customers will leave less, but they will prioritize quality in those outings.”

Aware that the request for lack of confidence of his colleagues is also a cry for financial help For a sector that is drowning due to social distancing, Colagreco recognizes that “the economic situation is terrible, but it is even more terrible for people to become ill, first of all we must protect the people who work with us and those who visit us. In his case, the crisis comes after an epic year in which he has achieved the third Michelin star and the world number 1, which has provided him with “a cash surplus that allows us to survive for a few months assuming 100% of the salary of our template”.

The chef of Argentine origin currently manages 14 restaurants in Europe, Asia and America, of which the vast majority remain closed, except for the Au Basier du Mitron bakery, the Pecora Negra pizzeria and the Carne hamburger, which operate thanks to home delivery. In his talk with future professionals, Colagreco urged them to «To be flexible in order to react quickly to crises and to be creative in seeking new business formulas». Despite its catastrophic consequences in the short and medium term, he stated that this crisis “will bring opportunities for new gastronomic businesses.”

Meanwhile, he and his Mirazur team cook twice a week for the hospital in the border town of Menton and for the homeless in the town. “We all have a commitment in the situation we are experiencing, and the stars or the awards only increase that responsibility, because the world looks at us and we must set an example.”

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