Chef Juan Arbelaez : Colombian roots, French technics, concept minded
- Executive Chef of 6 successful Parisian concepts
- Celebrity chef with 60K followers
- Colombian chef based in Paris
- Modern and casual with South American influences
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Since very young, he decided that he would follow his dreams. And they are great …: become a chef in Paris. At just 31 years old, Juan Arbelaez happily devours life and realizes dream on a dream at a blazing speed, free electron free standard, out of the classical circuits and networks. At the head of seven restaurants in Paris, the young charismatic leader of Plantxa, Levain, Maya, Vida, Froufrou, Yaya Saint-Ouen and Yaya Halle Secrétan is the brilliant proof that luck smiles on the daring. Without waiting for her to pass, Juan Arbelaez will look for her with a smile to fulfill his thirst for adventure.
COOKING & PARIS
Juan Arbelaez was born in Bogota in a colorful family, where everyone agrees at the table around good food. He then becomes aware of the unifying and soothing power of cooking. After some experiments in Bogota, he decided to get into the business. Why Paris? Because it’s the best place to learn cooking and because my mom’s called Jeannette, in French please. He landed in Paris at the age of 18 and entered Le Cordon Bleu school on the base, agreeing to work as an assistant. On the day of the final exam, he replaces an absent candidate at short notice and arrives first.
GASTRONOMY NEXT TO THE BIGGEST
One of the members of the jury asks him what he wants to do later: work for Pierre Gagnaire … We give him his chance, he takes it. On a one-week trial, he spends a year at two miles an hour with his triple-star mentor, learning French cuisine and the pressure that comes with it. Unforgettable experience. He then spent two years at the George V with Eric Briffard and discovered how the kitchen of a palace works, before joining Eric Frechon Bristol. After a detour to Top Chef on M6, he meets the Colombian entrepreneur Enrique Solano then at the head of the restaurant Plancha in Boulogne. The two men decide to associate and take over together Plancha which will become Plantxa.
THE RESTAURANT’S OWNER BUSINESS
With the great adventure of Plantxa, the Chef becomes a restaurateur, another facet of the profession. After a complicated start, it’s success. Other projects follow very quickly, over the meetings: A Mere in the 10th district, which will become Vida, Maya in Ville d’Avray, Levain in Boulogne. At the same time, Juan Arbelaez holds culinary columns on television, on France 2 with Stéphane Bern in “Comment ca va bien” and on Eurosport in “Demain je m’y mets”. In 2014, Juan meets the Chantzios brothers, founders of the Kalios olive oil brand. A friendship is born. In 2017, the trio joins the design agency Saguez and Partners in its new Saint-Ouen factory and opens Yaya, a restaurant dedicated to the authentic Greek cuisine of grandmother (yaya in the Mediterranean basin). In 2018, he creates the Froufrou card, the new restaurant of the Edouard VII theater, where the spirit of celebration and flavors make the show on stage as in the Roaring Twenties. All he loves! After the success of Yaya Saint-Ouen, the trio composed of Juan and the brothers Chantzios recidivates and invests the Halle Secrétan, mythical historical place of Paris, in the 19th district. Built by Baltard, the former covered market with a monumental metal structure welcomes since 18 February 2019 a new restaurant Yaya in which Juan and his accomplice Fannis Exarchakis revisit sharing dishes of Neochori-Itomi, the village of founders located in the heart of Peloponnese.