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Ha­ving gone from Les Am­bas­sa­deurs to the Crillon, Ma­thieu Fou­reau, the res­tau­rant ma­na­ger of the Syl­vestre, has ac­com­pa­nied the tran­si­tion smooth­ly from Jean-Fran­çois Piège to the new chef, Syl­vestre Wa­hid. The lat­ter has ar­ri­ved with a vi­sion that is unique in the French land­scape, in which the Me­di­ter­ra­nean ima­gi­na­tion (he ear­ned his two stars at l'Ous­tau de Bau­ma­nière) comes to­ge­ther with a con­tem­po­ra­ry preoc­cu­pa­tion which em­pha­sizes da­ring ve­ge­table dishes, that are al­most pas­to­ral, ai­ming to put ge­ne­ro­si­ty in­to the dishes, or even to em­po­wer the client (ma­king a pa­lette of salts with dif­ferent degrees of in­ten­si­ty avai­lable). India Mah­da­vi's beau­ti­ful de­cor and the at­mos­phere of a pri­vate Pa­ri­sian club, wor­king to­ge­ther dis­creet­ly, heigh­ten the de­light­ful im­pres­sion that we are at the heart of the mat­ter, the fo­cus of eve­ryone's at­ten­tion. There are other more mo­dest tables at which clients are trea­ted with haugh­ty condes­cen­sion... The mo­des­ty of Syl­vestre Wa­hid, a great chef, makes it­self felt in the sligh­test of de­tails – in the lovely plates de­si­gned by the chef him­self, for example, and made in the Sa­fran work­shops. The idea that tra­vels from table to table, going through the en­tire spec­trum of ‘haute cui­sine', with all it im­plies in terms of noble pro­ducts and starry ad­di­tions, is that a great res­tau­rant to­day has to pro­vide th­ree di­men­sio­nal ex­pe­riences. —

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