Marcel Ravin at Blue Bay of Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel + Resort: Upon arrival at the Blue Bay of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel + Resort, we were introduced to resident Chef Marcel Ravin before being shown our table for two with views across the Mediterranean Sea.
We learnt of Chef Marcel Ravins personal journey from a small island boy from Martinique in the West Indies, arriving in Paris in pursuit of a more prosperous future. Calling home to his parents Eugenie and Yvone feeling overwhelmed by his new life and pleading to return home. Marcels requests to return were rejected, Eugenie would say “You have gone to achieve something, and you’re staying there” to his traditional Creole family, France was synonymous with success, convinced that sending their son there would provide a more promising future. Twenty-Five years on, it’s clear that Eugenie and Yvon were right.
Atjust 17 after graduating from catering college Marcel began his career in Alsace, in a top Relais & Châteaux hotel, then perfected his culinary art in various hotel restaurant and kitchens across Eastern France. Turned 25, he returned to the Antilles where he was appointed chef in a 4-star 40-bedroom hotel, which later won the Gault-Millau golden key award for the island’s best gourmet hotel.
At the ripe age of 30 Marcel returned to eastern France and became sous-chef at the Michelin starred Bistroquet in Nancy. Then he moved to Lyon where he re-launched L’Arc en ciel — the gourmet restaurant at the Méridien Part-Dieu — as executive sous-chef.
Armed with his double experience in top-level restaurants and banqueting management in the hotel trade, Marcel Ravin was appointed chef des cuisines at the Epicerie restaurant, Brussels Méridien. Today Marcel has met up once again with his former boss from Brussels, Sergio Mangini to supervise Ble Bay restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
Embodying the ethos that a person’s identity is shaped by his or her cultural origins, Marcel Ravin allows his earliest childhood memories growing up on the colorful Caribbean Island of Martinique to shape some of his signature dishes. Marcel innovatively pairs the spices and colorful flavors of Martinique with fresh local ingredients from the Riviera coastline.
‘Nature has placed a treasure trove of products at our disposal, all too often we prepare them in the kitchen as our mothers and grandmothers did before us, in a very conventional manner without experimentation or innovation. Yet these exotic products can be interpreted in one thousand and one different ways’ -Marcel Ravin
Marcel’s masterful, playful, experimental and fresh approach to food soon became apparent as we began our meal with the Organic chicken egg with truffle cassava and maracudja juice. The contrast of the fresh egg yoke, the finely shaved truffle with the sweet tangy maracudja juice from the passion fruit created an explosion of flavor, that I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything quite like before. Marcel’s combination of ingredients is simply the work of a genius.
Marcel Ravin recommended we try the Steamed wild sea bass, Stew of fruits & vegetables with lemongrass & ginger, another of his signature dishes. Each dish is presented in such a precise, considered manner it’s clear that the Blue Bay Restaurant strives for absolute perfection.
‘Perhaps I already had an instinct for good food- one that makes me love my job today and that fuels my (possibly excessive) desire for perfection. You can come close to perfection, but it’s usually impossible to achieve’ ‘Marcel Ravin
Marcel’s mastery carries the style of the French Fauvism movement into contemporary cooking, like that of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain Marcel Ravin’s dishes appear spontaneous, his response to nature expressed with bold mixtures of ingredients, undisguised, high-keyed, vibrant colors directly from the Earth. In presentation he uses the plate as more of a white canvas in which he presents his work.
Finishing up our meal we were offered a selection of cheeses from a suitably large range of some of the best French cheeses, we reclined and watched an impressive firework display that lit up the entire ocean. The team at the Blue Bay of Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel + Resort could not have made us feel more at home, the service was faultless, the views over the water were incredible and the food, well what can I say? -genius!
For bookings visit: Blue Bay of Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel + Resort
To buy Marcel Ravin’s book visit: Amazon