With multiple Michelin stars to his name, chef Yannick Alléno has officially taken over the kitchen at Hôtel Hermitage. The 52-year-old is introducing an entirely revamped menu at the formerly-named Vistamar to tempt “gastronomes in the region.” His petits farcis à l’Alléno, red mullet fillets in zucchini flowers and rack of lamb flavoured with lemon balm are just a taste of what refined palates can expect.
“For me, Monaco is a destination with a real culinary life and an extraordinarily pleasing spot where excellence is the order of the day,” said Alléno, who was born in Puteaux, outside Paris.
His arrival in Monaco was celebrated in typical SBM fanfare—a two-day lunch extravaganza at Louis XV and at Yannick Alléno à l’Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo. The legendary Alain Ducasse welcomed his colleague on Monday by sharing his kitchen to prepare a 6-course lunch together at his 3-Michelin star restaurant at the Hotel de Paris for a select group of privileged guests.
It was Ducasse who instigated a meeting between Alléno and Jean-Luc Biamonti, CEO of the SBM Group. “There is real synergy between Yannick Alléno and the Principality,” 64-year-old Ducasse reflected. “He has a special and emotional memory of the 81st birthday of Paul Bocuse [in 2007]. He was also here for the 25th anniversary of my restaurant Louis XV. It is only natural for me to wish Yannick a warm welcome on the occasion of this cross-inspired lunch on the eve of the opening of his eponymous restaurant at the Hermitage.”
Since 1999, the restaurant at the Hôtel Hermitage has witnessed a succession of big-name talent like Joël Garault, Benoit Witz and, recently, Jean-Philippe Borro who earned the Vistamar a coveted star. With daily lunch (3-course menu €68) and dinner service (5-course €145 or € 7-cours €235 menus, plus à la carte), Alléno’s new team includes executive chef Borro, chef Guillaume Bellayer, sous-chefs Camille Vivian and Fabrice Pilati, pastry-chef Nicolas Baygourry, head sommelier Franck Damatte and Nicolas Gandillet leading the dining room. The second stage of the transformation of Yannick Alléno à l’Hôtel Hermitage takes place in spring 2022 when the restaurant’s interior will resemble Alléno’s signature Pavyllon.
Alléno became interested in cooking at age 15 and took his first job was at Le Royal Monceau under Gabriel Biscay. He received his first Michelin star at age 31 and eight years later, in 2007, he was awarded three stars at the iconic Le Meurice on Rue de Rivoli.
Since 2017, he has been the only French chef to head two three-star restaurants in France, at Alléno Paris—which he opened at the Pavillon Ledoyen on the Champs-Elysées in 2014 and ranked 25th at The Worlds’ 50 Best Restaurants (a meal will set you back between €230-€395 a person)—and at 1947 at Cheval Blanc in Courchevel. In 2019, he opened a second restaurant L'Abysse, a sushi counter located also at Pavillon Ledoyen, which counts two étoiles.