“I live, think and sleep cooking” says Nicolas Sale, with a twinkle of passion in his eye. And yet nothing predestined the boy from Montmartre in Paris to become a chef.
His dream was to win the Tour de France but in the end, between holidaying in his grandparent’s farm in Mayenne and his studies at Montreuil hotel and catering school, it was in the world of cooking that he won the stages. Throughout an exemplary career punctuated with leading restaurants (La Maison Blanche, Lucas Carton, Potel & Chabot, the George V and the Meurice) he discovered his calling for cooking. Aged 34, his career as a chef really took off at the Hotel du Castellet where he was awarded his first Michelin star. Three years later, he repeated the feat at La Maison du Pêcheur in Cap d’Antibes and then in 2010 left the sea to head to the mountains where he was awarded two Michelin stars, twice, at La Table du Kilimandjaro and at K2 in Courchevel.
In 2016, the Ritz Paris offered him the opportunity to return to Paris rewrite L’Espadon’s fine dining history and bridge the gap between past and future. He rose to the challenge with flying colours. La Table d’Espadon was awarded two stars and Les Jardins de l’Espadon one star, just 9 months after opening thanks to his generous, gourmet, delicate cuisine which has abandoned nothing of the spirit which, since the times of Auguste Escoffer, can be felt at the Ritz Paris, Place Vendôme. Voted Chef of the Year 2017 by the magazine Le Chef, he conveys emotions, creates variations on a theme of his cuisine and reinvents French excellence in four realms, in what one could consider as four chapters: La Table de L’Espadon, signature cuisine served in the evenings (2 Michelin stars), Les Jardins de l’Espadon, a fine dining lunchtime experience (1 Michelin star), the Bar Vendôme, a contemporary brasserie and the Ritz Bar devoted to French bistronomy.
© Matthieu Cellard