LIFE IN PARIS: INTERVIEW ANDRES MEDRANO, CHEF

Having been on the Parisian culinary scene for some time now, the trained chef and creative mastermind Andres Medrano has voyaged all over the world to call Paris his home. For todays interview we wanted to share a story of a local who’s passionately pursuing his purpose.?He is not only one of the smartest people?I’ve met in Paris, but one of the most courageously funny and hardworking. Hope you’ll be inspired and find lots of new things to discover in Paris.

Tell us a little bit about yourself; what you do and how you ended up in Paris??

Born in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica, I left home at the age of 17 for a never-ending voyage that started by attending a 4 year old International Marketing program in an uptight christian university in United States, ran away on a 42 hours greyhound bus heading to the big apple without attending graduation, started working in project management & marketing for a big american corporation until I realized I was seriously clockin? sitting in front of a computer for 12+ hours and traveling for work also got me fed up. So I left behind what seemed a promising career and bought a?cheap plane ticket to what I thought, at that time was the most unheard of country.

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That?s how I ended up living 3 months in Romania which later on took me to this exciting 22 months of traveling around the world visiting 3 continents & 12 countries, tasting lots of new food, herbs & spices, learning permaculture in organic farms, planting trees in the cruel north of Australia, learning thai-yoga massage in a nomad hill-tribe in the north of Thailand, etc.?

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paris chef interview

My last flight stop before going back home?was Paris, I was supposed to visit one of the friends I met while traveling, one day she took me to lunch to this beautiful majestic garden where I fell in love with her friend & the garden so I kept pushing & pushing the flight departure dates until I completely forgot to call back the customer service rep, Voila!

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Later on, I changed again my career and went to L?ecole de gastronomie francaise FERRANDI where I learned to properly cook & bake, worked the hard life in high-end restaurants such as Senderens, Chanmarre Montmartre, Antoine Westernman, Hotel Raphael, etc to gain some serious experience. I also had the chance to do few gastronomical trips and learn about local food & culture in India, Japan & almost the entire South American continent.

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Things you’re passionate about in Paris?

Food + long city walks + expos + music + bars & clubs

What is your favorite area of Paris and why??

My neighborhood “South Pigalle” because there?s everything you want in such a small place.?
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My other three favorite places are the parc Buttes de Chaumont in summer, the Cementery pere Lachaise in autoum for lonely walks, and Sivananda Ashram to find some mental health.

Do you have any tips for newcomers on living like a Parisian? To do, or not to do?

Forget about the iron horse, just walk, walk, walk, drop off your google map app, just go get lost somewhere in the city, welcome the unexpected, smile to the unknown, approach people on the streets and don?t get put off by the so called ??parisian attitude??, most of it comes from people who were not even born in Paris, anyways.
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Where do you go for a really good meal/coffee/drink??

For the best coffee, I stay at home and open my treasure bags of delicious roasted Costarican coffee, I usually smuggle between 15-20 kilos of coffee every time I come back to Paris. I used my grandmother?s extremely basic filter system which hangs on a wooden frame and pour onto our traditional cups. It gives me flashbacks of my childhood playing & hiding among tons of coffee plants.
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I love the “no-place” kinda place for a drink, the one that you find whenever you?re walking with no direction, when I first moved to the hood I discovered La Grande Follie, rue notre dame de Lorette, there?s 2 tiny tables in the terrace that I am fond of but, of course I will go where the sheep go to, I don?t mind.
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I dig asian restaurants. I love sitting at the bar and watch the guys bang the woks at Kintaro, rue saint Augustin, the very first japanese restaurant I came to when I moved to Paris, then I order a side of Kimuchi, preserved veggies, gyozas, japanese rice curry & crispy panko breaded Tonkatsu, with a cold sapporo.
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Andres medrano photo

Best summer spots?

Parc Buttes de Chaumont for pic-nics & rose.
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The beautiful Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte for an urgent escape from Paris, specially La Journ?e Grand Si?cle?on June 21st to watch the outrageous people dressed on 17th century customs & of course, Le Palais du Chocolat, November 6-8th with major pastry chefs.

Best winter spots??

The sunny tropical beaches in Costa Rica. (I don?t do winters shorty)
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Where to experience the best DJ set/ live music?

Following the non-commercial soirees where there?s a true mix of people & sick music such as House of Moda @ la Java by Crame et Renaud, La Culotte & La Klepto by Nicol et Marion dj, La bizarre love triangle, chez Maxims, L?after underground peripate by Thomas et Aladin, they usually blow out the spot or just chill & hang out with my favorite Norwegian Dj Diis Paradiis and her tropical beats wherever she?s getting down.

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?Do you have a favorite market, cinema, theatre or florist??

Yes, le marche d?Aligre, not for the quality but because of the ambiance, I am dying to go back to try the Oysters. Then for the quality there?s the pricy but extremely good market of President Wilson on the 16th. For something asian I would definitely go to China town.

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What do you do on Sundays??

Either I am recovering from Saturday night, having a home made brunch and watching movies cuddle up with my lover or I?am still awake partying, otherwise, yeah I?will probably go for a walk.

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More MyParisianLife Interviews here.?

 

 

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