Gregory Marchand : The king of the small Parisian Rue du Nil with his restaurants Frenchie, Frenchie Bar à Vins, Frenchie Caviste and FTG
- 1 Star chef at Frenchie, Paris
- Several concepts in France, London, Switzerland
- Experience as head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen
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Gregory Marchand, known to many as ‘Frenchie’ thanks to the nickname bestowed by Jamie Oliver, began his culinary journey in western France at the age of 15. Having lost both his parents when he was young, Gregory spent his childhood at an orphanage in Nantes. It was here that he first learned his trade, helping the nuns cook the likes of Escalope Normande for the other children.
Gregory’s formal training commenced in Brittany when he was 16. He studied for four years and once qualified, launched his career under David Nicholls at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge. During the hotel’s refurbishment, Gregory transferred to the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, cooking at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vong restaurant. Gregory soon ventured back to Europe, becoming sous chef in Marbella with ex-River Café sous chef, Arthur Potts Dawson. A year later, Gregory followed Arthur to London to work for The Savoy, The Electric and eventually as head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.
It was whilst working the kitchen at Gramercy Tavern in New York that Gregory’s wife, Marie, fell pregnant and they made the decision to move home. They returned to Paris in 2008, before Gregory launched Frenchie on the Rue de Nil on 1st April 2009. It was an instant critical and commercial success. The Marchand family now live on the same street, alongside the Frenchie Wine Bar and FTG (Frenchie To Go) . Gregory published his eponymous cookbook, Frenchie, in March 2014.
Thanks to his early cheffing days, Gregory’s eventual return to London seemed inevitable: Frenchie Covent Garden opened in February 2016 and was this year awarded no. 26 at the National Restaurant Awards. The globally influenced menu echoes its Parisian counterpart (which was itself very recently awarded with its first Michelin star) with simple yet generous flavours and dishes inspired by Greg’s travels, from London to New York through to Spain and Hong Kong.
Photos @Virginie Garnier (food) – @Thibaud Larrieu-Gibier (portraits)