Mauro Colagreco, the Italian-Argentinian chef at Mirazur located in Menton (Alpes-Maritimes), voted best restaurant in the world, pictured here on April 13, 2019.
Mauro Colagreco, the Italian-Argentinian chef at Mirazur located in Menton (Alpes-Maritimes), voted best restaurant in the world, pictured here on April 13, 2019 (VALERY HACHE / hooly News)

Do you remember Mauro Colagreco, this year in Top chef, on M6, with his serious face, his steely gaze, and his sharp voice for the candidates? Perfect flesh for the sea cucumber presented in competition, but goosebumps for the candidate against the emblematic chef.

The show went into full confinement, when Mauro Colagreco was preparing meals for caregivers at the hospital in Menton and for the homeless in the town. Son of a chartered accountant, pure self-taught, this Argentinian by birth, Italian by family, has always wanted to cook. He even came to France for this, in 2001, at the age of 25.

Training at the hotel school in La Rochelle, then apprenticeship with the older ones: Loiseau, Passard, Ducasse. In 2007, with only 15,000 euros in his pocket, he bought the Mirazur, a restaurant for which he ran into debt. But he is seduced by the incredible panoramic view of the Mediterranean and by the garden where he plants citrus fruits and aromatic herbs.

And he succeeded well beyond his dreams. Last year Mauro Colagreco received his third Michelin star and was named best table in the world. He owes his success to his inventiveness. Where a cook produces a menu each season, Mauro creates nearly 250 dishes per year. From 8 am, he goes down to the market, and decides the menu of the day when he returns to the kitchen. In other words, it’s a surprise for the 40 guests of the Mirazur. To succeed in this daily tour de force, Mauro Colagreco can count on his team. All under 35, from around fifteen countries and used to improvising a cuisine on the wire according to the inspiration of the chef. Today it is with red mullet, we are in high season for this fish (recipe below).

Red mullet with sudachi sauce, by Mauro Colgreco.
Red mullet with sudachi sauce, by Mauro Colgreco. (MAURO COLAGRECO / DELMASFREDERICC)

As for Mauro Colagreco, very committed to the environment, he has just been certified as a plastic-free establishment. The chef hopes to leave a healthier planet for his children.

Ingredients for four :

4 100 g red mullet fillets with the skin on, 30 g of wild sudachi juice, 250 g of cold butter cut into pieces, 35 g of trout egg, 1.5 l of water, 50 g of tapioca, 25 g diced celeriac, 5 g chopped spring onion, 5 g chopped chives, gray salt, 1 fresh sudachi, clarified butter, coriander flowers.

Preparation :

Bring the water, with 1 g of salt, to a boil. Add the tapioca in rain and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pass through a Chinese and keep the cooking water. Reserve the pearls in the fridge.

Steam the red mullet at 75 ° C for 8 minutes. Remove the skin from the fillets. Brush with clarified butter.

In a saucepan, using a whisk, whisk the butter with the sudachi juice. Add the trout eggs, the diced celeriac, the scallions, the chives, and the tapioca pearls (you can add a little tapioca cooking water to bind the sauce).

Arrange on a plate, covering each fillet with sudachi sauce. Season at the last moment by squeezing the fresh sudachi and a little gray salt. Decorate with coriander flowers.