Paris, seen by Cyril Lignac

Starred chef gives his impressions of Paris: Paris by Vélib’, early in the morning and some of the addresses.

Le chef étoilé Cyril Lignac © Arthur Delloye

Cook, Cyril Lignac came to prominence on TV and has contributed to the renewal of TV cooking programmes. Since then the young chef (36 yrs) has become as capable of updating classic dishes at a Parisian brasserie (at Chardenoux) as excelling in gastro cuisine. Or returning to his first love: cake and pastry making (Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac).

Le Chardenoux

1 rue Jules Vallès, Paris 11th - Metro Charonne

Le Chardenoux des prés
27 rue du Dragon, Paris 6th - Metro Saint-Sulpice

La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac
24 rue Paul Bert, Paris 11th - Metro Charonne

La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac
2 rue de Chaillot, Paris 16th - Metro Iéna Your first memory of Paris?

Cyril Lignac : I arrived in Paris when I was 21, in 2000, for several job interviews. I went to the Crillon, the Arpège…  where I was eventually taken on. It was the first time I had been to Paris. I had come from the Aveyron [in Southern France], for me it was like arriving in America.

The monument which in your eyes is most symbolic of Paris?

The Eiffel Tower.Every time I take the riverside expressways to travel between my restaurant in the 15th arrondissement and my other addresses, I enjoy looking at it …

A new place or address that you would recommend?

The company Sojadam-Doumbéa, now run by Yves Leguel, which makes the last ham in Paris (Le Prince de Paris), at 166 rue de Charonne. A real treat that reminds you of the real taste of cooked ham.

The first piece of advice you would give to a friend from abroad visiting Paris?

I would suggest they take a vélib'. Because travelling around Paris by bike gives you a true impression of freedom. And you can discover places that you would not find when travelling by car or on public transport.

The best district to live in in Paris?

Ideally, I would say Saint Germain-des-Prés.  I live in the 16th arrondissement, but I’m going to sell my apartment and I still do not know where I am going to (laughter) …

A place in Paris where you would not think that you were in Paris?

Place Furstenberg in the 6th arrondissement. You would think that you were on a film set.

Your favourite time of day in Paris?

Early in the morning, when Paris is getting up. I love that atmosphere when Paris is waking up.

A favourite address for dinner for two …

I have lots of them (laughter).  That would really depend on the circumstances because I’m just as fond of eating in a Japanese canteen, at Takara for example, in rue Molière, as I am of eating in an Italian where there are no printed menus.

The place to spend all the evening at in Paris?

At the Hôtel Costes. It is great to be among fellow Aveyronnais, (laughter). This place has an amazing atmosphere. And you don’t have to stay there to enjoy it.

Are you more … Left Bank or Right Bank?

A bit of both. It is difficult to decide because there is magic everywhere in Paris.

The height of elegance in Paris … ?

For a foreigner, it would be chic to go and eat a club sandwich on the terrace at the Plaza Athénée. But for me, it would more likely involve getting a bike and going to picnic by the lake in the bois de Boulogne.

A song or film that immediately evokes Paris?

Il est 5 heures, Paris s’éveille. Or even better, Le poinçonneur des Lilas. I really like Gainsbourg.

Your first measure if you were elected Mayor of Paris?

Have vegetable gardens installed on the rooftops of buildings. Or better still, shared gardens. Obviously that is something that is linked to my profession, but I think that it is something fairly simply that could change people’s taste.

A sentence which for you best sums up Paris?

Paris is my ‘passion’. I’m passionate about Paris. This city possesses incredible architecture, and unique gastronomy, fashion, the art of knowing how to live well and savoir faire.