Mauro Colagreco, Dan Barber, Manu Buffara and more – get to know who’s talking at #50BestTalks in Paris

Mark Sansom - 19/08/2019

For the first ever #50BestTalks, presented by Miele, in the cradle of fine dining, the roster of speakers features stellar international culinary names. On 16th September under the theme ‘Beyond Frontiers’, chefs from France and beyond will discuss food and farming, sustenance and sustainability - as well debating the future identity of Gallic gastronomy. Check out the on-stage line-up…

This edition of #50BestTalks will take place at Musée du Quai Branly, in the heart of the city. If you can't be in Paris on Monday, 16th September, follow our Instagram account for live coverage and set a reminder to tune into Facebook for the Premiere of the full event on Thursday, 19th September, at 4pm BST.

Meet the keynote speakers

Mauro Colagreco

The chef-owner of Mirazur, newly crowned as The World’s Best Restaurant, was born in Argentina to an Italian family. He attended culinary school in Buenos Aires, before moving to France to work with chefs including Bernard Loiseau, Alain Passard, Guy Martin and Alain Ducasse. Since opening Mirazur on the French Riviera in 2006, he has developed his own interpretation of French ingredients and flavour combinations, forging a style of cooking that stays true to its setting but is never afraid to look further afield for inspiration. His journey from Argentina to France by way of the Far East and Italy comes through on the plate, creating a style of food that crosses borders, both physical and conceptual. He takes the first session on 16th September to discuss the international nature of cuisine and what he believes the role of French food is today.

Manu Buffara


Brazilian Manoella ‘Manu’ Buffara is one of the most ecologically aware chefs on the planet. At her restaurant Manu in her hometown of Curitiba in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná, she curates a menu that looks to show the world how we can return to our roots as subsistence producers. Last year, her restaurant won the Miele One to Watch Award in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and she hopes to continue its ascendancy when this year’s Latin American list is announced on 10th October in Buenos Aires. Before she opened Manu in 2012, she completed stages at Noma in Copenhagen and Alinea in Chicago, as well as stints in Italy and Alaska. Going back to Brazil, she opted against opening her restaurant in the more renowned culinary epicentres of São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, believing her philosophy to be better placed near where she grew up.

She takes to the stage to talk about her social and ecological projects, including how she has built 89 urban gardens in Curitiba that have helped to transform abandoned parts of the city into growing areas in order that communities can feed themselves. Her message will be one of integration, loyalty to the land and how looking back at traditional farming and cooking methods can and should inform our plans for the future.

Dan Barber

The American chef who will be bringing the curtain down on #50BestTalks Beyond Frontiers is a self-confessed Francophile. French culinary tradition informs the menu at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Barber’s ground-breaking culinary outpost in New York State. His restaurant and farm operate almost entirely self-sufficiently, reusing waste and growing and rearing almost everything that is used in the kitchen. He was appointed by Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition in his inaugural year and has previously been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Aside from cooking at and running a restaurant that recently placed at No.28 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, he has taken his research into ingredients further, breeding genus of seeds that suit the local terroirs, but also have optimal flavour and resistance against disease. He will be flying in to talk about how historical research into his region revealed information that has helped inform his planting philosophy on his farm estate and how that, in turn, gives a better experience to the diner.


Panel Discussion

One of the hot topics for #50BestTalks: Beyond Frontiers will be a panel debate with chefs at the pinnacle of French gastronomy. Host Eric Brunet will moderate a discussion around the current state of the country’s cuisine and where it should be going in the future. Brunet and Mauro Colagreco will be joined by the following chef-titans.

Yannick Alleno

Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen sits at No.25 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Starting cooking aged 15, the chef learnt his craft under some of France’s all-time greats, including Gabriel Bisca, Roland Durand and Louis Grondard and is a disciple of their techniques. His first head chef role came at Scribe Hotel, before he moved to acclaimed Paris restaurant Le Meurice, where he won three Michelin stars and joined The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. In 2014 he took the reins at Pavillon Ledoyen, where he showcases, among other things, his masterful approach to saucing. His work on extraction techniques to refine a sauce’s flavour wrote the rulebook that chefs now follow. .

Bertrand Grébaut

As chef-owner of Septime – No.15 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 – Grebaut has modernised the traditional Parisian bistro with his detail-oriented but still relaxed approach. After training at l’ESAG, one of France’s most prestigious schools, Grébaut worked in the kitchens of Marius et Jeannette and La Table de Joël Robuchon, befored joining Alain Passard at Arpège 2006. In 2011, he opened Septime with an ingredients-led philosophy and a style that speaks to his French heritage and time spent travelling in Asia. Septime was the winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.

Romain Meder

The chef de cuisine behind Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Meder is at the forefront of modern French gastronomy. His style is influenced by the West Indies, where he began cooking during his National Service. In 2000, he joined Hélène Darroze in Paris, where he became sous-chef until 2006. Since then, he has been a Ducasse stalwart, travelling across the Middle East and India to educate himself in regional cooking styles, before opening the Museum of Islamic Art Idam in Doha, Qatar. He returned Paris in 2014 for the reopening of Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, where he pursues a menu philosophy that minimises a use of cream, butter, other saturated fats and sugar. 

Alain Passard

The winner of The Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm, at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 is a prince of produce. From his farms across France he grows some of the finest fruits and vegetables, served at his legendary Paris restaurant, Arpège. He was one of the forerunners of vegetable-forward cookery and since 1996 has maintained a three-star Michelin rating, as well as establishing Arpège in the upper echelons of the 50 Best list. His early career saw him work at Le Lion d'Or in Liffré through the 1970s and later with Alain Senderens.
This edition of #50BestTalks, presented by Miele, will be taking place at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris on 16th September. If you can't be there, the event will be being screened in full on Facebook Premiere on Thursday, 19th September at 4pm BST. Set a reminder and tune in.