Mauro Colagreco the tireless signs two new establishments at the Maybourne Riviera

Two months ago, the Argentinian took the helm of Riviera and Ceto, bistro and fine dining restaurant on a spectacular rock in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Menton and Monte Carlo

22-11-2021
The scenic dining room at Mauro Colagreco's Ri

The scenic dining room at Mauro Colagreco's Riviera, inside the Maybourne Riviera in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Menton and Monte Carlo (most photos are from Matteo Carassale)

«2020 suddenly turned off the lights. Now the lights are back on, we can no longer think of going back to what we were». We still have in mind the words that Mauro Colagreco spelled a few weeks ago in Antwerp, on the eve of the latest World’s 50Best. We've been to Menton to understand that the 45-year old chef from Abruzzo and Argentina loves to turn words into actions, even when he could easily do without.

Take his flagship restaurant, Mirazur in Menton, literally two steps from the Italian border: in 2019 he had won everything, from the 3 Michelin stars to the title of best restaurant in the world. And what did the chef-entrepreneur do in the middle of the lockdown? He mixed all the cards and designed a varying menu that changes according to the moon. And is the extension of Steiner's biodynamic philosophy– already very popular in the wine world – to the universe of gastronomy. Giovanna Abrami told us about it in depth, at the time.

This is not a marketing trick, but a ploy to keep the standards always high among the team, and, if possible, to heighten the reputation even more. The current menu (it's time for Roots, one of the four sub-menus with LeavesFlowers and Fruits) doesn't tire those who taste it and not even those who make it given that, within the same week, the series changes up to 5 steps, conceived depending on what grows in the 3K square metres of the maison's vegetable gardens. It's an attempt to reconnect humans and nature, which is no longer a neglectable background or a sum of inert furnishings but a world that directs our very way of acting. A topic which Covid accelerated in the chef's mind.

The Maybourne Riviera

The Maybourne Riviera

View over Monte Carlo

View over Monte Carlo

Riviera: Salad Niçoise

Riviera: Salad Niçoise

Riviera: Spaghetti with pesto

Riviera: Spaghetti with pesto

A tireless activism that applies to all the projects that Mauro and his wife Julia are pursuing in various continents (at least 3: Europe, Latin America, Asia), and in the most complicated times of the past 70 years too. Focusing on this part of France, the establishments they control are: MirazurMitron Bakery (boulangerie in Menton and Monte Carlo), Casa Fuego, pizzerias Pecora Negra (in Menton and Monte Carlo), Komo in Monaco and a vegan food-truck that goes up and down the French Riviera.

Never satisfied, last September the Colagrecos launched the most ambitious project ever since Mirazur (which was established in 2006). Since the 20th of September they sign two restaurants inside the Maybourne Riviera, the group which is already behind 3 hospitality monuments of luxury in London: Claridge'sThe Connaught and The Berkeley. The Irish-Qatari holding bought the old Hotel Vista Palace in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin a building that stands out on a scenic rock, halfway between Menton

and Monte Carlo, and is renovating it with the goal of completing 69 rooms before the summer of 2022 – at the moment, around 10 rooms are accessible. All this, with no attention to costs: there's marble even on the service stairs. They handed the catering offer to two giants of the French restaurant industry: our Colagreco and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

While the popular chef from Alsace was handed the Pool Bar and a second restaurant not yet ready, Colagreco was given the management of bistro Riviera on the ground floor and of Ceto, the upper-floor establishment with clear starred ambitions. Whether the Michelin will come to give its stamp or not, in under two months the numbers of the two establishments are already breath-taking, just like the magnificent view you can enjoy from up here: in front of you, the sea right below, to the left the coast going to Italy, to the right, and below, Monte Carlo with its skyscrapers.

Ristorante Ceto: a detail of the dining room

Ristorante Ceto: a detail of the dining room

Ceto

Ceto

Ceto: chef Andrea Moscardino and maître Sebastián Rey 

Ceto: chef Andrea Moscardino and maître Sebastián Rey 

Ceto: Alaskan raspberry semifreddo flambé with Italian meringue

Ceto: Alaskan raspberry semifreddo flambé with Italian meringue

BORDERLESS. Mauro Colagreco, born in 1976: his family originally from Abruzzo, he was born in Argentina, and adopted by France and married to Julia (Brazilian). At this moment he runs the kitchen of 25 restaurants, of which 13 in France, one in Monaco, one in Switzerland, 2 in China, one in the United States, 4 in Argentina, one in Singapore, one in Belgium and one in Thailand

BORDERLESS. Mauro Colagreco, born in 1976: his family originally from Abruzzo, he was born in Argentina, and adopted by France and married to Julia (Brazilian). At this moment he runs the kitchen of 25 restaurants, of which 13 in France, one in Monaco, one in Switzerland, 2 in China, one in the United States, 4 in Argentina, one in Singapore, one in Belgium and one in Thailand

Riviera offers a “Riviera” cuisine: Niçoise salad, Spaghetti with pesto, Raw prawns from Sanremo and all the delicacies that characterise this coast between two countries, from Genova to Saint Tropez. You're captured by the blue all around, the kindness of the staff directed by Catalan Jordi Albacar Fumado and, for lovers of the kind, by the parade of multimillion cars in the outdoor parking place.

In the spectacular open view kitchen of Ceto, as often the case chez Colagreco, the most common language you can hear is Italian: executive chef Andrea Moscardino from Treviso, 29, has already acquired some lengthy experience in Italy (at Marchesi's  L’Albereta) and abroad (at Frantzén in Stockholm, for instance). With his large brigade he takes care of 70 guests, designing an offer à la carte and a tasting menu (for 168 euros). He comes and goes from the rooms in which the fish ages, alights a remarkable grill-machine and uses fish in its entirety to avoid waste. The restaurant doesn't serve meat because it aims to become Colagreco's seafood laboratory.

 

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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