The new chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Elsa is devoting his passion to crafting organic cuisine inspired by Mediterranean flavours and local producers.
Benoît Witz’s career has been all about sharing, passing on know-how, and a passion for exceptional products. He was raised on a farm in Alsace, where he developed his love of gastronomy by making pastries with his mother. “While my friends were out kicking a football around, I preferred to be in the kitchen trying out new recipes with my family. More than a gourmet, I’m a great lover of food,” he quips. “These values and the importance of eating healthily inform my cooking.”
From Paul Bocuse to Alain Ducasse
After catering school in Alsace, Witz started out under the great Paul Bocuse before heading off to Paris, where he worked alongside Gaston Lenôtre at Le Pré Catelan. “I was lucky to get off to a solid start, and working with Alain Ducasse was obviously another career-defining experience.” Their paths crossed in 1987, when Ducasse opened Le Louis XV. Since then, Witz has made a name for himself working at establishments like La Bastide de Moustiers, L’Abbaye de la Celle and more recently, the Vistamar at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
Back to his roots
Today, Witz is putting his gastronomic talents to excellent use at the helm of Elsa, the Monte-Carlo Beach’s 100% organic, Michelin-starred restaurant. His menu marks a new chapter for the establishment, without being a radical departure. “The dishes are inspired by food from around the Mediterranean. The first step was to select our producers. We work closely with Le Jardin des Antipodes in Menton, Domaine d’Agerbol in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin and a team of young farmers in the Roya Valley who grow vegetables and produce honey at high altitude.” These producers are a major source of inspiration for Witz. “I feel strongly that my cooking should tell a story: that of the products I use and the people who produce them.”
Whether it’s honey from the high mountains, aromatic herbs from the gardens of the Monte-Carlo Beach, locally caught fish or culinary traditions, Witz is enthusiastic about putting them on the menu. “You can find a medley of hot and cold vegetables, cooked in the style of a Bagna cauda and served on a thin slice of bread, as well as shellfish, calamari and gamberoni with squid ink.” And for dessert, there is Witz’s signature creation: a soufflé of Piedmont hazelnuts served with a disc of gianduja and a praline drink. Just some of the sweet and savoury delights awaiting diners throughout the season.
By Caroline Sempé
Sunday Brunch at Le Deck
Le Deck, overlooking the Monte-Carlo Beach’s mythical pool, also has a new menu, with a sumptuous Sunday Brunch in the form of a fresh, summery buffet. Chef Pascal Garrigues concocts a creative brasserie-style cuisine using the freshest local and organic produce. Enjoy a convivial meal with friends or family in the stunning setting of the poolside terrace.
From19 April to 28 June and from 6 September to 11 October
€95 per person (half price for under-12s)
Du 19 avril au 28 juin et du 6 septembre au 11 octobre
95€ / personne (-50 % jusqu’à 12 ans)
Tel. +377 98 06 51 00