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Chef Cyril Lignac Comes To Mayfair

Le Bar des Près opens in Mayfair with the flair of the Parisian sister restaurant.

Inside Le Bar des Près in Mayfair (c) James McDonald

Born in Aveyron, where rural traditions prevail, top chef Cyril Lignac brings a vibrancy and freshness to French gastronomy. For him, the joy of cooking and sharing are as important as the technical skills a chef can demonstrate. A chocolate covered marshmallow bear from his chocolaterie, a moonlike Equinox desert or a perfectly executed fusion maki all encapsulate his approach to gastronomy., which has for over a decade now, been influenced by both pop-culture and the wealth of international cuisines.

Asian-inspired interiors at Le Bar des Près (c) James McDonald

A trained pastry-chef, ice-cream maker and chocolatier, young Cyril Lignac learned the trade with renowned Michelin-star chefs and patissiers, such as Alain Passard, the Pourcel brothers and Pierre Hermé. The good-looking young chef was rapidly spotted by the TV producer of Oui, Chef! and became a nationally known talent in no time. Today, Cyril Lignac is considered France’s most bankable chef and his books have sold over 4 million copies.

Roasted hand dived scallops, Jerusalem artichoke and fresh black truffle (c) John Carey

So how does one of France’s favorite chefs make his way to the heart of Mayfair? With a tried and tested Franco-Asian concept called Le Bar des Près, located at one of Saint-Germain-des-Prés best hidden spots, on Rue du Dragon since November 2016. Internationally acclaimed, the bistro turned sushi bar is where Cyril Lignac showcases his love of modern-day craft: whether in the plate or in the interiors of his restaurants, he has a way to twist influences and classics, project raw food into the contemporary culture while respecting its Japanese origins.

Marinated salmon (c) John Carey

Cyril Lignac has the power to bridge the gap between ancient traditions and modern aesthetics, seasonal craft and tasty innovations: “I love London as a melting pot and I want my cuisine to reflect that”, the chef says. His marinated scallops with jalapeño vinaigrette and radish or chutoro tacos with chipotle mayonnaise has a Mexican flair, while the crunchy crab and avocado galette with Madras curry are a healthy Cali-Indian mix. The miso caramelized aubergine or black cod are true expressions of modern Japanese flavors. In line with contemporary classics, the Mayfair Sour - exclusive to London - blends Yamazaki whisky, lemon juice, ginger syrup, coconut batida and tonka bean.

Tarte aux pommes (c) John Carey

Equally crafted in the details, the intimate space set in an 18th Century building on Albermarle Street welcomes 100 covers across two floors, tables laid on richly-veined marble top counter dining. Designed by David Sagrada (the much sought-after designer behind nearby Dover Street Arts Club), the restaurant combines elegant custom-made furniture, deep blue banquettes, woven suspensions that evoke sea creatures and vibrant peacock embroidered upholstery.

Bar des Prés, 16 Albermarle Street, London W1.