Groupe Ducasse ends 2016 with a new gourmet restaurant, a contemporary café, a casual venue at Les Halles and its first street food kiosk

Groupe Ducasse has announced on 20th December the opening of its first street food kiosk. The Groupe ends the year adding as well a new casual restaurant, bar and lounge developed in collaboration with Olivier Mauyery at Les Halles called Champeaux. Besides, Ducasse has opened a new high cuisine restaurant to the roster, named Ore, inside Versailles Château.
Ore (Mouth in Latin) is a double concept. On one hand is a casual café thought to provide the visitors of the Château a Versailles level experience and service at more or less reasonable prices. On the other hand Ore is a high cuisine restaurant open not only to the visitors but to the public and available for the organisation of specially dedicated events.

Choux d’Enfer

Placed at Gare de Paris Saint Lazare the name of the first street food concept by Groupe Ducasse is Choux d’Enfer (something like profiteroles/buns of the hell). Choux is the name of the crunchy mass that is used to bake profiteroles and lionaisses.

Choux d'Enfer. Source of the image, Matinox website.
Choux d’Enfer. Source of the image, Matinox website.

The kiosk is devoted to the bake and sale of hot sweet and salty profiteroles, which are fresh baked before the very eyes of the clients and filled with sweet creamy chocolate or fruitty stuff or salted butter. There are also salty choux filled with ham/cheese, Mornay sauce or olive pesto.
The profiteroles are served hot inside a little paper bag with the kiosk brand printed on it.

Choux d'Enfer, roducts at the kiosk. Source of the image, Matinox website.
Choux d’Enfer, roducts at the kiosk. Source of the image, Matinox website.

Ore.- The contemporary café at Château de Versailles

Ore, the new casual café at the 1st storey of Pavillon Dufour (Château de Versailles), opened its doors in September this year with a culinary offer composed by quick and healthy dishes and elaborated pastry proposals.
The venue is open for the visitors to have their meal any time during the opening hours of the Château.
The graphic image of Ore are stylished sun and moon (from the Sun to the Moonh, this is the idea, perhaps also a blink to Louois XV known as the Sun king)

Here, Alain Ducasse offers contemporary, resolutely French cuisine. We recognise the great classics: Quail pâté en croute or Free-range Guinea fowl breast. This extremely legible and accessible cuisine prominently features vegetables. Amongst the vegetarian selections, a thin vegetable tart, field grown tomatoes, raw and cooked vegetables, and the signature dish: a tiny spelt cocotte, fondant yet firm. Devotees will also recognise another one of Alain Ducasse’s favourite dishes: Coquillette pasta, ham, Comté cheese and black truffle.

Ore restaurant view. ©pmonetta
Ore restaurant view. ©pmonetta

The patisserie selection is just as generous and varied. It artfully combines great classics and novelties, a care for lightness and a gourmet passion. “Les Versaillaises” offers a marvellous assortment of French pastry classics: Vanilla millefeuille, Caramel religieuse, Lemon/lime tart, Paris-Versailles (wink to Paris-Brest).

The sweet delicacies, served directly on the plate include the brioche, which is studded with chocolate. It is then briefly toasted, lightly melting the chocolateand  served accompanied by a frothy hot chocolate, as it was served at the time.

For tea-time, to enjoy with patisseries, the menu suggests some fine champagnes, magnificent Sauternes and sincere crémants, served in flutes and glasses especially discovered for the café.
Paying a tribute to Marie Leszczynska, (the whife of Louis XV), Ore offers the so called The de la Reine Marie, which is composed by three salty pieces (vegetable, seafood and meat) and three sweet pastry pieces. The salty and sweet bites are matched with tea, coffee or chocolate to drink. If not chosen the Reine Marie option the tea, coffee or chocolate drink is accompanied by a piece of brioche, cake, muffin -madelaine- or financier. All tableware is manufactured at l’Ancienne manufacture royale de Limoges to the most pure and true Louis XV style.

Sweet offer at Ore. © pmonetta for Groupe Ducasse
Sweet offer at Ore. © pmonetta for Groupe Ducasse

And fruit. Currently, the menu offers Roasted figs served with a fig leaf infused cream, a seasonal fruit plate and a Cheesecake served with citrus marmalade and confit fruit, full of flavour yet avoiding any excessive sugar.

Ore café also serves the Prince and Princess children dedicated menu and for those more pressed for time, a healthy and savoury version of the sandwich, with roasted chicken, courgette, aubergine and basil.

The wine list includes a large selection of half-bottles. Many French vineyards, from the eminent to the lesser-known, are made available in this smaller version which has the advantage of preserving the wine’s organoleptic qualities.

The team at Ore (café and restaurant) is composed by the chef Stéphane Duchiron, the head pastry chef Arnaud Dutertre and Maxime Maze (Chief operations manager).

Groupe Ducasse has opened also at Château de Verseilles a high cuisine restaurant named as well Ore (mouth in Latin). We do not include here the description on the gourmet restaurant offer as we think it deserves its own post. We will keep informing.

Champeaux.- The Brasserie of the 21st century at Les Halles

Alain Ducasse and Olivier Maurey, creator of restaurant Mini Palais and other Parisian haunts, has imagined “The Brasserie of the 21st Century”, located in the heart of the 1st district of Paris under the Canopée in Forum des Halles. This three in one concept, able to accomodate 180 sitting clients inside and 80 more at the terrace, opened doors in Spring this year.

At Champeaux, everyone is free to create their own personal experience. A wide-open and sun-drenched space which live all day long and situated opposite Saint-Eustache church. For lunch on the go, to enjoy a large feast or snack during an aperitif, the brasserie welcomes everyone, from 11:30 am to midnight.

Bruno Brangea (head chef at Champeaux) -left- and Alain Ducasse -right- at Champeaux. Photo © Champeaux.
Bruno Brangea (head chef at Champeaux) -left- and Alain Ducasse -right- at Champeaux. Photo © Champeaux.

From Monday to Friday, from 5.30pm to 7pm, it’s Happy Hour at Champeaux with a special menu: Plates to share, beers at 4€ and the famous cocktails of our mixologist Marjolaine Arpin at 6€. Sit back and relax with friends at the bar, inside the restaurant or out on its stunning terrace.

Leaving aside the Happy Hour, prices per person at Champeaux are more than reasonable. They start off at €6, the dish of the day costs €20 and there’s also the chance to enjoy a la carte chice from €50.

With soufflé as one of the signature dishes, the head chef also offers at €19 from September 2016 The Ham/Comté/Black truffle/Coquillettes pasta a dish that reminds our childhood culinary memories, the coquillettes, with noble and flavoured ingredients, such as the black truffle.

Champeaux is open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to midnight, and from Thursday to Saturday the venue extends its opening times to 1:00 am nex day.

Champeaux.- Stunning views specially from the private room and bespoke music

This large industrial open space is located on a sunny terrace overlooking the Nelson Mandela garden, almost four hectares of greenery in the heart of Paris. The view offers a unique perspective of the Saint-Eustache Church.

With a capacity of 14 guests, le salon privé (private room) overlooks La Canopée’s great forecourt. The two tables of this space are rare pieces that Alain Ducasse found at an antique shop. For a century, they were used in the refectory of the Lycée Lakanal, in Sceaux. The Carrara marble tables bear the scars of time in the irregularities and wear of the edges, completely notched by students’ cutlery, doubtlessly anxious for their lunch. Both tables lay over two cast iron feet.
They are the work of Anatole de Baudot (the architect of the Lycée) with the complicity of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who introduced steel and metal to architecture and ornamentation

From lunch to late dinner, the restaurant atmosphere changes as the hours go by Malik Alary, DJ, sound designs with a sharp musical selection, creating a singular atmosphere and identity.

Champeaux.- An ever changing whine list and mixologyst from Canada

Alain Ducasse restaurants’ head sommelier, Gérard Margeon has designed a dynamic whine list and oriented toward Europe. “No less than 70 references are found here, and all can change at the drop of a hat. In the organic and biological category, a white, a red and a champagne will be offered every week.

The Canadian head barmaid Marjolaine Arpin at Champeaux. © Pierre Monetta for Groupe Ducasse
The Canadian head barmaid Marjolaine Arpin at Champeaux. © Pierre Monetta for Groupe Ducasse

The Canadian head barmaid Marjolaine Arpin reinterprets classic cocktails, with a self-confessed preference for bitters. Taking her inspiration on the history of the area and the Champeaux of the old days. She suggests a few unique and sophisticated signature cocktail.

Taking her inspiration on the history of the area and the Champeaux of the old-time, she has created a series of signature cocktails concocted from products evoking the fruits, vegetables, flowers and cereals market that was Les Halles. “La Halle des Halles”, for example, boldly blends vodka and sake for an original and sophisticated Martini.

Champeaux.- Bruno Brangea at the stoves

The venue revives the most beautiful brasserie cuisine classics, using the best seasonal ingredients. The soufflé, the restaurant’s signature-dish, perfectly embodies this faithful to tradition and eminently contemporary approach. Chef Bruno Brangea offers an elegant interpretation of this monument to French cuisine, with both sweet and savoury variation.

Bruno Brangea is the Head chef at Champeaux. Member of the l’Académie du goût et des

Bruno Brangea's signature souffle at Champeaux. © Champeaux.
Bruno Brangea’s signature souffle at Champeaux. © Champeaux.

Cuisiniers de France, Brangea (46 years) only recently left his position as head trainer at Alain Ducasse Education to take the reins of Champeaux. Since his CAP in 1987, he has made his mark Chez Georges, Au Comte de Gascogne, at Goumard Prunier until becoming the chef at the Gaya Rive Gauche, at Bon, and finally at Marius et Jeannette, for five years. After a few months at La Closerie des Lilas, he mastered the Ducasse spirit, after training within the seven Parisian establishments of the group.

The team at Champeaux also is composed by the 24 year old pastry chef Dorian Lutzelschwab, Marjolaine Arpin a reputed Canadian woman-mixologist in her 36’s and Thomas Revillion, the Director of the venue.

Champeaux.- Design by Agence Ciguë

Agence Ciguë, founded by Alphonse Sartout, Hugo Haas, Camille Bernard and Guillem Renard) sign the design of the space.

Champeaux. Source of the photo, the ress dossier proided by Groupe Ducasse.
Champeaux. Source of the photo, the ress dossier proided by Groupe Ducasse.

A running bar -central element of the room – is illuminated by an imposing aluminium chandelier. The terrazzo tables are surrounded by chairs, or black or tan leather banquettes with saddle-stich seams.
The walls, coated in prairie green stucco confer freshness in the daytime and depth in the evening.

Graceful copper suspensions as well as glass blown and copper luminary tubes diffuse gradient light, that changes depending on the time of day: soft in the late morning and warm in the evening

Once one goes thrugh the curved glass entry of Champeaux multiple spaces open under a ceiling of industrial frames painted in white. Each of them adapted to urban life and its alternated rhythms and varied desires.

Along a display board presiding the front wall in resembling that inside any airport, one can sit down in comfortable armchairs with views to the garden. there are also chairs , at the bar, for an on-the-go lunch.
Benches for small and large tables combine with alcoves that allow more privacy.

The display board, (8.60 meters long by 1.40 meters high) similar to those in railway stations and airports, is another center piece of Champeaux’ environment. It scrolls in interactive connection with the kitchen – the menu, cooking times, batches of soufflés, or even the wines of the day.

Happy Hour offer and signature cocktail at champeaux. © Champeaux.
Happy Hour offer and signature cocktail at champeaux. © Champeaux.

Pierre Tachon (Soins Graphiques) modernised the original typography from the Belle Époque restaurant, with a predominant and Art Deco style C for the graphic identity of the restaurat.

Champeaux.- First menu dating back 1900

Despite its Minimalist lines, raw materials and vast bay windows that confere the venue a bright, warm and contemporary atmosphere. Despite the young and fresh approach to the concept the fact is that this flexible and live restaurant-bar-lounge is located in a place with a long standing history related to food and the restaurant business.

Les Halles, a great market hall located in the area called «Champeaux », appears in the 12th century on the orders of Louis VI. A few centuries later, the « Petits Champs », located on the city outskirts lend their name to a brasserie on Place de la Bourse, founded in 1800. The writer Émile Zola features the area in the opening scene of his novel L’Argent (Money). In his old menu collection, Alain Ducasse found a Champeaux menu dated from 15th December 1900.

Image over the headline.- Champeaux, interior view. © Pierre Monetta for Groupe Ducasse.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest news