julien sebbag

could you tell us who you are in a few words?
My name is Julien Sebbag, I am 29 years old and I am what we call a chef. In fact, I haven't considered myself as such for a very short time. until recently, in fact, I considered myself more as a sort of
“artistic director of food”. In fact, I kind of stumbled into it by chance. I don't have any chef training at all. I went to business school, then my passion for food pulled me towards the inevitable. I am very proud and very happy with that.

What were you aiming for when you went to business school?
I didn't really know to be really honest. fashion and contemporary art fascinated me. I had a little sensitivity, something, so I traveled a lot, I was a little interested in what was happening nearby and I went out quite a bit. I stayed connected! I knew that I was not going to end up as a consultant at the end of my bac +5 like half of the school, but that I was probably going to try to make a living from my sensitivity.

during my studies I went to London for a year, on a university exchange, and it was there that I really discovered the world of food. at the time, in 2014, in London, they were way ahead of new culinary trends. I got a real slap in the face, it was incredible! I tried to reproduce for my roommates things that I had seen or discovered during the day. It really started like that.

and then that same year I fell in love with an Israeli woman. she played a decisive role in my life. we went to Tel Aviv together. paradoxically I always had this desire to work in contemporary art. During this other gap year, I did an internship in an art gallery and I quickly didn't like it. So I started working in all the trendy restaurants in town. there was Miznon which had just opened there, it was the beginning of Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine and it was madness throughout the city. a bit like london, but younger, messier, it was crazy! I spent the year cooking in restaurants in the evenings after my internship at the art gallery.

Afterwards, I returned to Paris to finish my master's degree, I worked at Miznon for two years and then as soon as I graduated I set out on my own directly.

what inspires you in life?
like everyone else, listening to great music, or watching a film or series that makes me feel things... yesterday, I saw dune , it's fascinating! It's been a long time since I liked a movie this much! it's very aesthetic, there is something so pure that it makes me think that it could be your jewelry that the characters wear in the film. dune made me vibrate all night, I only thought about that: you wake up in the morning and you are a little regenerated. It’s this kind of feeling that inspires me.

then there are meetings too, with inspiring, nice, cool people. and then travel of course. all my trips to Tel Aviv nourish me a lot. I also went to Japan two years ago in September for three weeks and it was the craziest trip of my life. I also went to Peru last year, for two months before the opening of Tortuga, to learn the art of ceviche with a great three-star chef there called Gaston Acurio.
“ecology and sustainable development are fundamental, it’s what makes the poetry of our profession. »
why is sustainable development so important to you?
for me, ecology is not a commitment, it is something natural. and when you're a chef, ecology also just means wanting to return to an ultra-seasoned, field vegetable because that's where it really expresses its tastes, its power. It's such hard and intense work that you have to constantly remember the poetry of the job. for example, receiving a cauliflower from a producer in the morning with soil and snails inside, or receiving a call from your market gardener telling you that there was a storm last night, and that his grapes were frozen , etc…

It is for these reasons that ecology and sustainable development are fundamental, it is what makes the poetry of our profession. the day when everything is sanitized and industrialized, we will be dead, we will no longer be of any use and there will be no more poetry. Individually, it's complicated to see the impact you can have when you sort your trash. on the other hand, when you have three restaurants you directly realize the impact you can have by changing small things.

we also switched to Castali water fountains, the plastic savings you make as a restaurant is considerable.

Who are the people who constitute references for you in the profession of chef?
Eyal Shani, the chef of Miznon, it was he who instilled in me the passion for food, clearly. he was the first to have people eat on the table on baking paper where he drew things. I also have other absolute idols like Virgilo Martinez, Peruvian chef of the central restaurant in Lima which is one of the best restaurants in the world. they are leaders who really listen to each other and who are not afraid to take really big risks, they put the overall customer experience first and foremost.

they don't just focus on a recipe or a dish, but on each element that makes up a restaurant. for example, when Virgilo Martinez presents a new dish, he wants you to discover the biodiversity of Peru, which is one of the most complex in the world... between Machu Pichu, the Amazon forest and the thousands of different altitudes, it This is madness! There are 360 ​​different potatoes in Peru and at least as many varieties of mushrooms! what drives him is to show you that, so he makes you eat an Amazonian piranha presented on a base made of piranha heads with frozen teeth, he has no limits.

what compliment would you like to hear or hear again in your profession?
I love it when people tell me that I’ve made someone love vegetables again! One day, a person told me that when eating my bluefin tuna tartare, she felt the same pleasure as the critic who tastes the dish at the end of the film Ratatouille and who remembers all his childhood memories... that made me so happy!

what was your biggest challenge?
life is quite incredible, because every time I launched into a project telling myself that I would never succeed, in reality it went very well. For example, when I started, I had to do an event for 200 people and I told myself that it was impossible, and in the end, we did it! when we opened Creatures, it was so hard, I had three burnouts over six months, it was absolute hell. now, I fear openings much less. what is important is always to try to go further, stronger. the challenge is to always challenge yourself again.
“the challenge is to always challenge yourself again. »
do you have rituals in your life, your job?
when I take off my jewelry: there are definitely some that I put on and take off at the same time every time when I go to sleep. They each have their own little place on my nightstand, and I take them off in the right order, first this ring, then this one, then that one. I put them in the same place so they don't get tangled.

in my work, every morning when I wake up I burst through all my emails and try to take stock. after the day flies by, I have no time at all.

do you have a favorite object?
Yes ! woody is my little stuffed animal that I sleep with at night. I don't sleep without it, I bought it when I was 18, with my best friend. she bought buzz and me woody and she reassures me a lot, I'm very insomniac and I have the impression of always being understood a little, of not being alone in my insomnia. You'll think I'm crazy, right? (laughs)

what is important in your life?
family is very important. It allows us to stay on course in a profession, in a city and in daily life, with a society which is hyperactive and which goes at three hundred an hour. family is a great anchor that allows me to keep my feet on the ground. I try to go to my parents as often as possible, it allows me to keep a rhythm and my feet on the ground.

your jewelry on le gramme, what are they? how do you wear them?
I'm starting to have a small collection per gram! but I love the 3 turns 11g ceramic cable bracelet. I love how it wraps around my wrist, just like the 21g interlacing bracelet. They look good together. I like to mix them with my other jewelry of different styles and above all make them my own by matching colors together, with my watch, etc. A bit like superheroes and their costumes, I like there to be cohesion between my clothes and me.

what if le gramme was a dish?
my carpaccio of line-caught sea bass, because it's wild fish and it's like gram, very sustainable. it is very very fine, very delicate, which makes me think of your creations.
“Family is a great anchor that allows me to keep my feet on the ground. »



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