Essentiality, authenticity and quality. This can be summed up as the soul of the restaurant “Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac” inside theHotel Metropole in Monte Carlo, a modern transposition of the renowned 1920s eatery.
An important past behind that of the starred chef Christophe Cussac, who lived through the era of Jamin-Robuchon (1981), followed by. Troisgros in Roanne, and then move on to the family abbey in Saint Michel, at Tonnerre in Burgundy (two stars), at the Reserve de Beaulieu (two stars) and finally at the Metropole (since 2004) to accompany Joël Robuchon; still maintaining two stars.
Chef Christophe Cussac’s new menu.
A chef who has been able to wait, playing an instrumental role behind the scenes, but now finds himself in the spotlight to unveil the opening of his restaurant.
His new menu reflects precisely this approach, including dishes that combine the Mediterranean and Monegasque traditions, maintaining an ever-present balance between the ingredients whose individual peculiarities are enhanced.
Among the most popular and award-winning dishes is his fresh marinated sardine, caviar and Menton lemon. Another surprising dish for its simplicity is the sea bream tartare and caviar cannelloni. The menu is clear and straightforward: Red prawns, summer salad, rosemary burrata; lobster lasagna, tarragon, spinach and esplanade; St. Pierre and artichokes, cilantro broth; veal chop, “Arroz de Calasparra” mushroom sauce with saffron seafood.
And of course, desserts are fresh and relevant to the seasons: beechwood-smoked chocolate with crispy gavotte or lemon tartlet with basil sorbet.
Christophe Cussac’s menu is simple and authentic: three flavors per dish to highlight essential ingredients.
Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac: transparency and authenticity
Pursuing its own idea of a transparent and authentic kitchen, the design of the spaces also follows this logic. Indeed, it is possible to get up close, either at the chef’s table or in the kitchen area, to discover the world of pastry and baking. The creations are highlighted during rituals that punctuate the service with the surprising appearance of bread and dessert carts, much to the delight of the guests.
The new look of Les Ambassadeurs, in terms of decor, it follows the graphic rhythm of the hotel orchestrated by the same architect-decorator Jacques Garcia who redesigned the restaurant, where his style accompanies the spirit of the new menu with bright hues: bronze, ivory, bright yellow, gold, for a warm and Mediterranean spirit, creating a fresh and welcoming atmosphere.
An interview with Chef Christophe Cussac
What does cooking mean to you today?
“Going straight to the products without complicating them. My goal is that when someone tastes my cooking, they will immediately understand and remember it. This is my purpose. Keep it simple, but most importantly, it must also be good. The choice of an open kitchen illustrates my desire for transparency with a desire to stage the transformation of products, to share this art with customers in order to create unforgettable moments of excitement. I will no longer be able to work in closed kitchens, because I love this exchange with my guests.”
How has your kitchen evolved over the years and what do you try to bring to Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac every day?
“Over time, I learned to simplify – to focus on the products, without overcomplicating them. My goal is for the customer to want to come back and enjoy my cuisine again. My golden rule that I try to apply every day at Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac is that of three flavors per dish-to highlight the essential ingredients. First of all, I do the cooking that I love. I make the dishes that I would like to taste.”
Which recipe makes you most proud?
“One of my favorite products is sardines. I find it quite spectacular to be able to sublimate a ‘simple’ fish into a two-star dish. In fact, my signature dish is inspired precisely by Mediterranean cuisine: a raw sardine marinated in olive oil and lemon, served with a spicy sardine cream, garnished with asparagus, caviar and Menton lemon.”
Balance, contrasts and interplay of flavors. How would you describe the kitchen at Les Ambassadeurs by Christophe Cussac in three words?
“Simple cooking at its best – authentic and convivial. My cooking is flavorful and, I repeat, simple. A cuisine that I want to eat and that people should want to eat every day. This means that Italian, Greek, Lebanese and Spanish influences will be present in the dishes. But this does not preclude incorporating elements from other cuisines, because cooking is always evolving. Meat, fish, vegetables, spices … my cooking is varied.”
A challenge that began in July and now sees her as a protagonist in an exceptional position. C‘Is there something that can never be missing in Christophe Cussac’s kitchen?
“What I consider essential in my cooking is the human factor. All brigades in the restaurant work closely together. There are currently 10 people in the kitchen dedicated exclusively to the gourmet restaurant. In the pastry shop, it is the teams of pastry chef Patrick Mesiano who work hard to offer our customers a wide range of desserts. We also have 6 bakers in the hotel, who offer a cart with 19 different types of bread every day.”
What is your favorite dish?
“I do not have a particular favorite dish, I have always appreciated the many rituals related to meal preparation that, when done together, become a time of exchange, sharing and love. I am particularly fond of the roast pork tenderloin that my mother used to prepare by mixing all the ingredients in the same pot: tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves… The smell of the dish when the lid is removed from the table is incredible. I also like to go to Lou Pantail restaurant in Nice, where I always order the veal escalope with cream of mushroom soup.”
How do you try to cater to the diverse tastes of the people who frequent your restaurant?
“Over time, I have learned to respond to customers’ desire to enjoy authentic cuisine. They want to taste emotional dishes, dishes that bring back memories. They also desire generous and gourmet cuisine. The restaurant’s menu is cleverly divided into. three sections: the first includes appetizers and standard-sized main plates; the second is a tasting menu consisting of seven selected dishes; and the third is “Les Fines Bouchées” , consisting of 13 dishes, perfectly sized to allow customers to create their own tasting menu according to their tastes and appetites.”