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Chef Eugénie Béziat’s Favorite Places in Paris

Place Vendôme.

Including a bookstore, a patisserie, and an elegant natural-wine shop.

Growing up in Central and West Africa with parents who loved to entertain over big, convivial dinners, Eugénie Béziat always understood the power of a great meal. But the chef at the Ritz Paris’ Espadon remembers one particular moment that inspired her culinary career: a dinner in her youth at chef Hélène Darroze's restaurant Marsan in Paris, where she tasted briny oysters topped with tart and acidic Granny Smith apples. “It was a culinary shock,” Béziat says.

That transformative bite would eventually bring her back to the City of Light to helm one of its most storied restaurants. First, though, it led her to study hotel and restaurant management in Toulouse; afterward, she honed her skills in a string of esteemed kitchens. In 2018 Béziat became the head chef at La Flibuste in the South of France, where, just 18 months into her tenure, she earned her first Michelin star. Soon after, the Ritz Paris approached her to lead Espadon, which had been closed since the start of the pandemic. 

Espadon, ready for service.

In April 2022, Béziat moved to Paris to become the first woman executive chef in the fine-dining restaurant’s 68-year history. She spent a year and a half building her team and developing a new menu, and Espadon officially reopened in autumn 2023. Dishes such as barbecued shellfish in a delicate bisque of hibiscus, cassava semolina, samphire, and sea urchin reflect her childhood in Africa and summers in Provence. It was a time infused with smells and tastes that continue to inspire her, she says, including “the aromatic power of smoked fish, the taste of coconut, the fatty coating of peanuts, very ripe plantains, the manioc we ate as children in a pirogue.”

Béziat also draws plenty of inspiration from her new home. “I’m very curious, and I love exploring the city, discovering new exhibitions or shows and wandering from the Ritz Paris to my home, located in the city center,” she says. Below, the chef shares her recommendations for a true taste of Paris.

City sights.

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Librairie Galignani: “Galignani is an emblematic Parisian bookshop located a stone's throw from the Ritz Paris, where you can spend hours strolling through its three departments (French, English, and fine arts) in search of the perfect book,” says Béziat of the beloved shop that’s been a literary haven on rue de Rivoli since 1856. “With its parquet flooring and glass roof, it's an instant escape from the hustle and bustle of Paris.”

B.B.N: The chef frequents the second arrondissement’s B.B.N (which stands for “Bio, Biodynamie, Nature”) for its “very good selection of natural wines … as well as interesting reading on wine culture.” Besides its robust selection of bottles representing regions across France, the shop carries a comprehensive array of educational texts about natural wines.

Tekés: The menu at Tekés is a celebration of vegetables, from plant-based cocktails to flame-grilled eggplant with cinnamon labneh and clever desserts such as the brûlée made with Jerusalem artichoke cream and celeriac tartare. Béziat recommends this second-arrondissement spot “for its Mediterranean cuisine and atmosphere.”

Ritz Paris Le Comptoir: Béziat may work alongside François Perret, who oversees Ritz Paris’ pastry program (including Espadon, Bar Vendôme, and Le Comptoir), but there’s no denying that the Best Restaurant Pastry Chef in the World – a distinction he earned in 2019 from Les Grandes Tables du Monde – creates exceptional sweets, as delicious as they are visually spectacular. Neighboring the hotel, Le Comptoir is a stand-alone café where guests can linger over Perret’s iconic desserts or pick up treats to go. “This is my favorite place to buy pastries to gift my friends when I go to their house for dinner,” Béziat says. In particular, “the madeleines, in their superb tins, are excellent.”

Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris: The collection at the city’s Museum of Modern Art comprises some 15,000 works by twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists from the City of Light and beyond, including Matisse, Picasso, and Basquiat. Béziat loves going to see the exhibitions, “especially a recent one on artist Nicolas de Staël, which combines drawings, paintings, and engravings – absolutely incredible.”

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