Un Jour, Un Chef
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Opened in 2012 by three friends with no restaurant experience but a whole lot of inventive ideas, Un Jour, Un Chef is a unique dining concept that has been a huge success since the day it opened. Located in a quiet backstreet just off the Place de la Bastille, the idea is that anyone can telephone or log on to their website to take over the kitchen and be the restaurant’s chef for either lunch or dinner. The candidate proposes a three course menu and the restaurant takes care of buying the produce, then all you have to do is turn up on the day and do the cooking, fortunately aided by the restaurant’s professional chef and his assistants. Most ‘chefs for a day’ reserve for a group of friends, and each dinner turns into a celebration party. But the restaurant is always open to the general public too, who have a choice between a set menu proposed by the resident chef and the one created that evening by the guest chef. Over 200 would-be chefs have so far taken up the challenge, with dishes ranging from haute French cuisine to Creole cooking, Lebanese mezze, traditional Venetian to spicy Thai and Vietnamese. An English chef-for-a-day even recreated one of the menus that was served on the last night of the Titanic. Apart from at the weekend, most guest chefs tend to reserve to cook an evening meal, but the restaurant is still open at lunchtime, when a starter and main dish costs €15. In the evening, the three course dinner costs €30, excluding drinks, which is really good value when a typical menu runs to scallops à l’Asiatique, sea bass served with garlicky aïoli sauce, and delicate millefeuille pastries with red fruits.