Le Pré Catelan is found in the woodlands of Bois de Boulogne on the west side of Paris. The forest was once a royal hunting ground and the name of the restaurant derives from Louis XIV’s captain of the hunt, Théophile Catelan, and the location on a meadow (pré in French). The setting can not be better for a gourmet experience of world class.
It will not take you too many minutes in a taxi from central Paris before you arrive at the doorstep of the Napoleon III style mansion. Luckily the interiors are just as impressive as the exteriors with décor in white and silver. Pierre-Yves Rochon redesigned the interior in 2007 and he did an excellent job in turning the dining room into one of the most appealing in France.
Head Chef Frédéric Anton has many years of experience. He always strives for perfection in all his creations. The Chef comes from a region in France named Vosges which has been known for its work ethic, and he is no exception. He won the French craftsman contest Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France in 2000. Anton has a keen eye for details and he likes to keep his dishes simple without too many ingredients, which must be of absolute top quality. Simple is not easy when it comes to Anton’s
elaborate and sophisticated cooking. The Chef is a perfectionist and prefers to spend his time in the kitchen without any regular tours in the dining room as many chefs do today. He started his professional career in 1986 in Lille at Le Flambard with Chef Robert Bardot. Frédéric Anton then proceeded to Reims and worked for Chef Gérard Boyer at Les Crayères. Chef Anton became well-known after he worked seven years, from 1988 to 1996, for Joël Robuchon at his fabled Jamin. Frédéric Anton eventually became the Chef de Cuisine of what is one of the best restaurants in the world. He became the Head Chef of Le Pré Catelan in 1997.
We would have wished for more variety on the menu, with more new recipes presented. There are quite a few dishes which have been on the menu for several years now. It is nothing wrong with signature dishes and classics, but we would like to see more of Chef Anton’s culinary brilliance instead of just having more of the same. No problem if you have never visited the restaurant before, but can be uninteresting if you are a regular guest.
Restaurant Director Jean-Jacques Chauveau has been in the dining room of Le Pré Catelan for decades and he knows hospitality inside out. Few in the business are more experienced than he is so you can rest assured having service of top class during your lunch or dinner of top haute cuisine.
A meal at Le Pré Catelan is an experience you know what to expect of. You are situated in one of the best settings available, having a luxurious feast both for your eyes and taste buds. For the most part that leaves little room for requesting anything else.
Written by Andy