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Interview: modern French bistro fare with chef Louis-Philippe Riel, Le 6 Paul Bert, Paris 75011

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 10:06:2013

This article is in English. Click here to read it in French.

Too many wonderful bistros in Paris, and not enough time! Have you had the chance to eat at Le 6 Paul Bert yet? We spoke recently with Bertrand Auboyneau, the owner of two successful and sought-after Parisian bistros: Bistrot Paul Bert and Le 6 Paul Bert.

This time we stepped behind the kitchen counter to have a chat with head chef at Le 6 Paul Bert, Louis-Philippe Riel. Québecois in origin, Louis-Philippe has been immersed in the restaurant business from a young age. Hear more about his experiences, favourite places in Paris and what life is like at Le 6 Paul Bert.

Personal

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 11:06:2013

Louis-Philippe, how would you describe yourself in three words?
I only have two words in mind: calm and patient.

You’re from Québec originally – why did you decide to move to France?
I came to Paris with my girlfriend who was spending a year abroad. While she was studying, I worked at Paul Bert with Bertrand for some months.

When did you decide to become a head chef?
I didn’t study cooking; I trained to be a sommelier. It was because I worked in wine that I had an interest in cooking. However, I always wanted to work in the restaurant business. My two grandfathers ran a hotel in Montréal and since I was young I knew I wanted to work in this world. However, my interest in cooking came later – when I was about 18.

Professional

The newly-opened Le 6 Paul Bert is owned by Bertrand Auboyneau. Did you know him before working in the bistro?
Yes, I worked with him at his other bistro, Paul Bert. When I was ready to return to Canada, Bertrand invited me to work with him in a new bistro. I said yes, and have never left! I have to admit I am delighted to be head chef at Le 6 Paul Bert now. This job is very dear to me.

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 10:06:2013

What sort of food do you serve at the bistro?
We are constantly changing the menu. There are [some] dishes that are ‘typically bistro’, and others that are not. Dishes are created according to the food we are delivered. We never write the menu first. We order the produce, and only then do we write the daily menu.

What is your favourite dish at 6 Paul Bert?
I don’t have favourite dishes, but favourite ingredients. I like pigeon with turnip or asparagus and monkfish!

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 10:06:2013

What is your favourite thing about working at 6 Paul Bert?
The biggest pleasure is having freedom in cooking. I like having the opportunity to change the menu every day. I also work with people who have been there since the beginning: without them, I couldn’t do anything.

Favourite places in Paris

Louis-Philippe shared his favourite spots to eat, drink and relax in the French capital – apart from Le 6 Paul Bert, of course!

To eat

Le Verre Volé
67 rue de Lancry, 75010 Paris
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent
Rino
46 rue Trousseau, 75011 Paris
Métro: Ledru-Rollin

To drink

I don’t go out often. I like to have a drink at my place with my best friends.

To shop

I don’t shop much either. I buy clothes when I go on holiday.

To play

When I was in Québec, I liked fishing. In France, I cycle a lot and enjoy playing pétanque.

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 10:06:2013

For a day trip

If I am in France, I would go to the Jura mountains. It is where I most feel myself. I can go anywhere – I just need to ski.

Thank you Philippe for taking the time to answer our questions. We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to get to know you better!

Have you eaten at Le 6 Paul Bert?

What did you like about it or why you would like to go…?

Le 6 Paul Bert
6 rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris
01 43 72 24 01
Métro: Faidherbe – Chaligny
Translation by Esme Wakefield.
Image Credits:
1- 4. Courtesy of Gail Boisclair
2. Courtesy of Henrietta Richer
5. Courtesy of Geir Halvorsen


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