Former Top Chef candidate, Jean-Edern Hurstel, suddenly left the shores of Lake Geneva, and the kitchens of Floris, for the seaside resort of Saint-Tropez. A lesson to remember for any chef who thinks Geneva is an Eldorado easy to conquer.
The chef with the blue-white-red collar, Claude Legras, had left him the keys to a house with an excellent reputation. This chef with a strong character had built up a solid reputation throughout the seasons in the world of French-speaking chef’s hats. Long time with two stars in the Michelin guide, Claude Legras knew, knows and will always cook! After more than two decades behind the stoves of this temple of Geneva gastronomy, the Meilleur Ouvrier de France has decided to hang up his apron in 2020 and not bow without emotion.
With breathtaking views of Lake Geneva and a breathtaking panoramic terrace, the Floris really has it all. Despite these advantages, its location far from the city center presents a challenge for modern restaurants. Lionel Roques, the new owner of the business, who wants to bring the restaurant back to life and rekindle the flames of the stoves, decides to bring in the cook John Edern Hurstel in early 2021 to inject a touch of modernism into its new culinary vessel. Despite participating in the fifth season of top chef, the Parisian is (and will remain) unknown to the Genevan public. After undertaking a major renovation and launching the redesign of two separate dining areas, the only thing that was missing…
John Edern Hurstel is announced with great fanfare. The media rush, the networks panic and influencers rush to attend organized (and therefore free) dinners. How can you arouse such zeal in a cook who has yet to prove anything on Geneva soil? Where has the respect for the foundations of such a difficult profession, which requires unimaginable sacrifices, gone? Humility, discretion and fortitude are the foundation: three qualities that John Edern Hurstel departed en route during his stay in Switzerland.
A lot of noise for nothing
These few lines are not pleasant. Because even if the coming of John Edern Hurstel made a lot of noise, it was a soft whisper that underlined his departure; not to mention the collateral damage to the establishment and the employees. Men who, just a few weeks after the opening, do not publish their travels on social networks, whether on the Formula 1 circuit in Monaco or in the grandstands of Roland-Garros, unlike the cook on the move. The latter was even the face of a renowned watch brand like Usain Bolt or Dwayne Wayde; what a casting error! Doesn’t watchmaking share the same values as cooking: precision, technique, conscientiousness and… discretion?
“The clientele is demanding, passionate about cooking and travels a lot; Geneva is one of the most complex cities when it comes to catering.”
On the positive side, chef Philippe Audonnet comes to the rescue to save the drifting boat. Former boss of the kitchens of Hotel d’Angleterre and then of Café des Banques before the arrival of Yoann Caloué, rose to the challenge and took the Floris challenge. Wish him luck!
John Edern Hurstel, meanwhile, left the city of Calvin through the back door. May this story be a lesson to those who think Geneva is an easy girl! Think again; she is a woman of taste to be seduced, seduced and loved with tact, elegance and passion. His clientele is demanding, passionate about cooking and travels a lot; Geneva is one of the most complex cities when it comes to restaurants. Real professionals have known this for a long time!
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