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December 2023

Le Chantecler

A first-rate gastronomic saga

A contemporary fine-dining symphony is composed at this Michelin-star restaurant, where the greatest chefs tune the notes of their creativity to the goodness of authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

By Lionel Leoty
© Grégoire Gardette Virginie Basselot, première femme cheffe au Chantecler avec ses sous-cheffes Amélie Lossilla et Michelle Gibon.
Grâce à Jacques Maximin (photographié ici en 1980 devant Le Negresco), Le Chantecler devient le tout premier restaurant de palace étoilé.© Collection Jacques Maximin

The top-flight restaurant is housed in Nice’s legendary Le Negresco hotel, which celebrates its 110th  anniversary this year. But Le Chantecler and Le Negresco are equals in luxury. Its cooking ranges were designed by the most respected names in the region. The visionary Madame Augier founded Le Chantecler in 1978 because she wanted to establish a restaurant in her beloved Le Negresco hotel. Somewhere that would capture the opulence of the place, with a Michelin star and an international reputation. 

A draw for the elite, lovers of beauty and fine food: a first in the luxury hotel world. When Le Chantecler opened, the effervescent and inventive chef Jacques Maximin took control of the kitchens, and after two years had earned two Michelin stars, making Le Negresco the very first luxury hotel to boast a Michelin-starred restaurant. With his dynamic personality, fine Mediterranean cuisine, and innovative sleight of hand, Maximin made Le Chantecler a shining star on the food scene for 11 years. Dominique Le Stanc came next in 1989, staying for 8 years, and his authentic cuisine continued attracting diners. In 1997, Alain Llorca took the helm. This genial chef from Provence retained the restaurant’s two Michelin stars until he left. Michel Del Burgo then took the restaurant in a more daring direction. In 2007, Meilleur ouvrier de France (MOF) Jean-Denis Rieubland won back the second star that had been lost, and kept hold of it for 10 years. 

In 2018, after 40 years of accomplished chefs, the legend and aura of Le Chantecler continues under the stewardship of Virginie Basselot. This chef is another MOF, and works as closely as possible with local producers and suppliers, ensuring that Le Chantecler takes a respectful and responsible approach to Mediterranean cuisine. Madame Augier would definitely have loved this partnership and been proud to see the first woman overseeing her fine-dining restaurant.


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