He may be a foreigner on French soil, but Mauro Colagreco has quickly won over fussy Gallic palates. Michelin awarded him a star ten months after he opened his restaurant on the Riviera, followed with a second one five years later. When the Gault-Millau guide named him Chef of the Year, he became the first non-native ever to receive this honour.
He was born in Argentina to parents of Spanish and Italian ancestry, and moved to France to work with Bernard Loiseau and then as Alain Passard’s second. In 2006 he took over the Mirazur, steps from the Italian border with a drop-dead view of the Mediterranean. The restaurant has two gardens of its own—one for herbs and citrus, another for vegetables and forty varieties of tomatoes. Colagreco’s vibrant cooking deftly mixes this homegrown produce with ingredients from the land and sea, like oysters wrapped in pear carpaccio with shallot cream, or barely cooked langoustines with flowers. If you could eat the Côte d’Azur, this is how it would taste.