Acclaimed French chef Thibault Sombardier is back in Paris with a new restaurant, Les Parisiens. Located in the hotel Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, the neo-brasserie’s offering is firmly rooted in traditional French cooking, presented with an elevated twist.

Supper sat down with the Top Chef star to talk about how to create the perfect bistro experience, and his dream of running a lobster bar by the beach.



Where are you from, originally?
I’m from Lyon, in the southeast of France. Being the gastronomic capital of the country, it was a big inspiration for me growing up.

When did you first fall in love with cooking?
I fell in love with cooking at a very young age. My great grandfather was a butcher, and he was probably my earliest source of inspiration. Seeing his passion for quality cuts and ingredients has definitely informed my approach to cooking today.

Les Parisiens restaurant, Paris

How would you describe your culinary style?
Simple but not simplistic. It’s about using the best produce and putting in just the right amount of work to bring out the best flavours without overcomplicating the process.

Congratulations on the launch of Les Parisiens. What’s your vision for the venue?
Les Parisiens is a neo-brasserie, where we’ve taken the style and culinary codes of a traditional brasserie and infused it with a modern vision and elevated gastronomy. We enjoy finding the balance between the formal and informal to create a unique dining experience for our guests.

Do you have a favourite pastry dish on the menu?
We’ve just added an Avocado and Shrimp Tartelette to the menu, which I love. It’s fresh and perfect for summer in Paris.

Les Parisiens restaurant, Paris

What is it about the concept of ‘bistronomie’ that appeals to you?
I enjoy the simplicity and the idea that we can serve high quality dishes while offering good value for money and making the restaurant accessible to all. Other than that, I’m drawn to the style, comfort, efficient service and having a varied menu with plenty of choice.

What is the most important element for a perfect bistro experience?
The ambience is very important. I like to make sure there isn’t too much space between tables, so guests can look around at what other diners are eating and get inspired. 

Les Parisiens restaurant, Paris

What inspires you?
My biggest source of inspiration today is nature. Taking cues from the seasons means having to think creatively and constantly adapt, which is great fun and keeps our menus updated throughout the year.

What would you like your next project to be?
I would love to have a lobster bar somewhere by the beach!

What is your favourite dish?
My mother’s Pike Quenelles with Crayfish Sauce. It’s a traditional dish from Lyon and she always cooks it perfectly.