Jean-Luc RABANEL**

Jean-Luc Rabanel: first Star chef cooking organic


  • French 2 Stars chef
  • Extraordinary plating with organic veggies
  • Chef of the Year 2009

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First of all, this is the credo and challenge of this organic, Michelin-star-rated chef, who serves extraordinary tapas in his creative workshop, on tables without cloths! Indeed Jean-Luc Rabanel has his own kitchen garden in the heart of the Camargue that he holds so dear. As a result, customers can’t get enough of it.

However, take note, this restaurant is where it’s at! Indeed, it’s in a little street a stone’s throw from the collegiate church of Sainte-Trophime, right in the heart of Arles, that Jean-Luc Rabanel opened his “atelier” (workshop). Yet, in this small, long and narrow dining room, with a very limited number of place settings, the décor is modern and rather spartan, and the tables, topped with a blend of cement and pigments, are not covered with cloths!

Moreover, at Jean-Luc Rabanel’s restaurant, we are at the southern school, i.e. that of the pleasure of living. There is desire in the air, a blissful smile on customers’ faces, and the chef and his assistants’ joy of cooking is tangible. The man has the wind in his sails all right.

But that’s not all

No more freelance work as international gastronomic consultant, always going from one plane to the next. This Gascon by birth has found himself, adopting Arles, its music and bullfights, the Camargue, its changeable skies and superb organic kitchen garden. As a result, this is where Jean-Luc Rabanel sources most of his fruit and vegetables, transforming them into tapas or sushi that are as light and airy as they are tasty. Therefore, there is no menu but a burst of suggestions that you discover bit by bit – suspense and surprises. Indeed, with something of the god Pan about him, the man with the black locks offers his “gourmandise” generously – all at the price of a set meal equivalent to the cost of one dish on the menu of a two-star restaurant.

But the whole “magical world” of Jean-Luc Rabanel’s passion is available, from the most tart notes to the crispest or softest ones.

In addition, we spoke of “tapas” for want of a better word: it is more a question of little Leibnizian monads, perfect units that suffice in themselves, and where the vegetable takes the lion’s share. Then Jean-Luc Rabanel has, for example, created an exceptional five-tomato gazpacho. As a result, everything is light and low-fat, environmentally friendly, of course, but above all terribly gourmet.

In conclusion, on top of being awarded of 2 Michelin stars, Jean-Luc Rabanel has been elected ‘Chef of the Year’ in 2009, receiving 5 Toques and the rating of 19/20 by Gault&Millau.



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