Would the location of his establishment have brought him luck? OxteEnrique Casarrubias’s restaurant, located a stone’s throw from the Place de l’Etoile in Paris, won its first Michelin starin 2021. “We have the octopus with black pudding, the mole steak with beetroot”, lists the chef. A cuisine where France and Mexico, his country of origin, intertwine. Enrique Casarrubias He has not forgotten the day the phone rang, in such a particular context. The director of the Michelin guide will call you in half an hour, let him know! “The Longest Thirty Minutes of My Life”confess.
“At first we didn’t believe it because we were in the Covid period, so the restaurants were closed. It’s a lot of emotion, joy but also reflection. You know, stars are not for life!”Enrique Casarrubias, star chef
When asked what has changed with this star, he replies: “The way we receive customers hasn’t changed, the kitchen hasn’t changed, we try to do it better every day. On the other hand, the clientele has changed!” He is happy that he has kept the usual lunches, the business lunches. But the Michelin distinction also attracts, especially at night, people who are really curious about this Franco-Mexican cuisine. “When we go to a restaurant, it is to eat something that we are not used to.he says. Here we offer an emblematic dish in which we will cook the meat in a clay pot, and add corn on the cob and pineapples.
A reward he owes, he says, to all his staff: “A Michelin star is not for a chef, it is for the whole team.” Above all because he is a star or not, like the entire sector, Enrique Casarrubias is experiencing real recruitment problems. “We have lost a lot of people who no longer want to work in our profession”. Of the nine employees of his today, only one was already there before the star, just a year ago: a true Rotationthat you can’t explain.
“We don’t understand why, we try to give our best. We close the restaurant Saturday and Sunday, we give many advantages. The few people left are quality people.”Enrique Casarrubias
What the sommelier José Miguel confirms: “We are a very united team, we move forward together, we grow, we evolve.” Evolve Maybe one day towards a second star? “The most important thing is to preserve the star, to secure it”says Enrique Casarrubias. “But you know, no chef will ever say no!” And that can happen for zero-waste desserts, like this incredible burnt bread ice cream: “It’s very simple: we infuse the burnt bread and the Espelette pepper in the cream, and then we can make the burnt bread ice cream.”
Listen here to the report by Agathe Mahuet