Philippe Mille: classical but adapted to the tastes of today
- French 2 Stars chef based in Champagne
- MOF (Best craftsmen of France)
- Bocuse de Bronze in 2009
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First of all, he is one of the most discreet Chefs of his generation, but one whose rise to the top has been most spectacular! Bocuse d’Or bronze medal and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, he has learned from 15 years’ experience with the most prestigious Chefs of France. For the past 2 years, he has found the right stage to express his great talent at Les Crayères Restaurant in Reims.
All lights on Philippe Mille!
Indeed, blessed be the beautiful Sarthe countryside! From an early age, on his uncle’s farm and at his grandparents’, Philippe Mille discovered lots. For example, the delicate taste of poultry, the unforgettable flavors of his grandmother’s pot-au-feu or the subtle texture of fish prepared by his father. Thus, the young future Chef had already begun honing his sense of taste! Later, at age 15, he entered the Le Mans culinary academy. As a consequence, he was soon awarded 2 certificates (cuisine and pastry) and rushed to learn from the best mentors immediately after graduation.
“My apprenticeship with Chefs started in 1994 with Jean Bordier at L’Aubergade, where I learned the basics of the Escoffier cuisine. I then joined Louis Grondard at Drouant, who taught me precision and helped me understand technique. Once a Chef, I continued my career at Pré Catelan with Frédéric Anton and Michel Roth first at Lasserre, then at the Ritz Hotel. These great Chefs passed on their passion for precision and perfection and put me on the right track for competitions. Finally, for the next 10 years, I teamed up with Yannick Alleno at the Scribe Hotel and the Meurice Hotel as a sous-Chef. This taught me how to manage kitchen staff and run multiple locations.”
The Bocuse d’Or 2009 competition & MOF recognition
Thanks to his confidence in his technique and having developed a personal vision of his art, Philippe Mille decided to enroll in the Bocuse d’Or 2009 competition. He was coached by Michel Roth, Yannick and Jean-Marie Guathier and finishes third. This bronze medal brought with it the fame he deserved. Right away, he was contacted by Hervé Fort, the new manager of Domaine des Crayères in Reims. An exquisite Relais & Châteaux in the heart of a 17-acre garden. Indeed, his challenge was to quickly bring back the stars to one of the most prestigious properties in the Champagne-Ardennes region. Furthermore, for Philippe Mille, this offer seemed like a premonition. Fifteen years earlier, he had delivered his résumé for a commis opening. Now, he was being offered the Chef position!
“When I arrived in 2010, Hervé Fort, Laurent and Thierry Gardinier, the owners, gave me the freedom to create my own menu, build my own team and establish relationships with sixty local producers.”
Finally, the goal was soon reached! Indeed, a few months after Philippe’s arrival, Les Crayères regained its first Michelin star. Moreover, early 2012, a second star was awarded. Meanwhile, its Chef, fully embracing his mission in Reims, had almost forgotten about the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition. Still, he decided to compete and received the prized distinction!
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