The entire culinary world was cheering in June, when Mauro Colagreco accepted the title of No. 1 on the World’s 50 Best list for Mirazur, his signature restaurant in Menton, France. His speech was joyous, immersing and straight from the heart—which is exactly what you should expect from this gallant, Italo-Argentine chef who is seriously en fuego right now. Mirazur also scored three Michelin stars this year; and in 2017 it became a member of the Grandes Tables du Monde and Colagreco was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite. Now, the smoking-hot Buenos Aires native has something awesome cooking in the kitchen of CÔte, at the new Capella Bangkok.
Pretty cool for a former rugby player from La Plata, who ditched a degree in the School of Economic Sciences at the National University for Lycee Hotelier de La Rochelle in France. “I found that the kitchen was my natural habitat and discovered I was a cook relatively late, but what I lack in time, I put in with passion and total devotion to this wonderful job,” he says. It should be little surprise in this sustainably focused food era that what Colagreco is passionate about is locavore, seasonal and homegrown fare, in addition to hospitality straight from the heart.
Colagraco was named “Revelation of the Year” by the Gault & Millau guide in 2006, within six months of opening Mirazur, which garnered its first star the following year. Clocking that coveted third star a few months ago, he says he was “overwhelmed! By joy, by happiness, by the feeling of gratitude towards our inner strength and focus we did not lose during these years!” The genuine sincerity is part and parcel of a man who finds inspiration in “life, my sons, the sprout that pops out from the earth in spring, and nature.” It’s an utterly charming philosophy and one that one that defines his cooking style.
“I had the chance to grow up in a family that taught me not to waste anything,” he says, and the talent to secure work with world-famous mentors who taught him to take nothing for granted. “I learned accuracy and creativity from Alain Passard, and strictness and poetry from Alain Ducasse,” he says. “I try to put together beauty, surprises and sharing concepts.”
What bonny bounty does he have planned for Capella Bangkok? “CÔte aims to be a refined and comfort experience where guests are offered a Mediterranean flash, a journey made of flavors. In some dishes you will also find a little Thai touch. But just a bit. You will find the beautiful Mediterranean products, typical of a fresh and light cuisine: homemade fresh pastas, fresh fish, meat, and desserts,” Colagreco says. “I want guests to leave with a piece of this journey into the Mediterranean. I’d like to offer them a food memory they will be able to recall.”
Mirazur, in CÔte d’Azur near the Italian border, is blessed with access to amazing native produce. “One of my favorite ingredients is lemon—in particular the lemon from Menton: sweet, juicy, perfumed. It is one of the secret ingredients of my dishes.” That’s just a little taster from the man who seems to be able to do no wrong in the kitchen, and who is excited about finding the best produce and viands Thailand has to offer, as well.
“I was totally into this project from the beginning,” he says. “Bangkok is a multicultural city I love very much. Plus Capella is a guarantee of excellence and high standards.” That’s an attitude that perfectly jibes with the Colagrego brand. “I think [Mirazur is] loved because we communicate our passion for food, the art of welcoming—we love to spoil our clients!” Get ready for some serious pampering, Bangkok. CÔte is about to turn up the heat on the city’s fine dining competition.