Restaurants: “We cannot resign ourselves to living without this conviviality”, assures Stéphanie Le Quellec

In full confinement, the chef Stéphanie Le Quellec is on several fronts. On the one hand, the former Top Chef winner runs her Parisian restaurant, La Scène, two Michelin stars, which currently offers take-out. On the other hand, she is about to open MAM, a take-out or delivery kitchen. While restaurants and bars know that they will have to remain closed beyond December 1, she wants to be confident in the future of catering, painfully hit by the crisis linked to the Covid-19 epidemic. Even if, she confides, “the real concern for us is not to project ourselves into the future but to hold out until the recovery …”

What will the restaurant of tomorrow look like?

STÉPHANIE LE QUELLEC. It will undoubtedly be necessary to think differently, to go into the memorable, to embody a house, to have a real soul. In short, I will have to tell a story even more in my gourmet restaurant. But I also believe a lot in the habits that are being taken at the moment of trying to eat well at home, of having a little special moments without going out. I think it will continue. For me, the two are compatible and will coexist in the coming years.

Will you continue to take out sales and deliveries in your La Scène establishment?

No. I’m doing it right now to adapt. I don’t want to keep the principle, because the Stage is a real place of life, an experience. And to bring this experience to life, I am not able to give both a very good welcome and a very nice take-out. This is why I am fortunate to have two separate houses with the same standards and the same quality. One in haute couture, the other in ready-to-wear. Some will manage to bring the two together, but for me it’s not the same job.

Will you have to put effort into the reception, layout, etc. ?

We have always been responsible for social distancing and barrier gestures and we will continue to be so as long as the virus is high and a vaccine is not distributed. As soon as everything goes well, we will keep the hygiene habits. But I am optimistic. We are Gauls, bon vivant, we love the table, sharing … We cannot resign ourselves to living without this conviviality, to renouncing these moments of warmth around a table, in the restaurant.

VIDEO. Michelin stars, four months after the opening of his restaurant

Are you worried about attendance?

We could see it between the two confinements. When we are open and have made the effort to bond with them, customers come back. They are looking for something other than just good food. There is also a social bond. That’s why we must not let go and continue to reinvent ourselves. The real concern for us is not to project ourselves into the future but to hold out until the recovery …

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