It’s always fantastic to have the chance to cook with a chef who loves to cook, loves his work, and not only, he loves his work at Four Seasons Paris, meet Simone Zanoni.
The morning and afternoon with chef Simone cooking together on his own Marrone + Mesubim C|3000 purchased for his house kitchen he carries out masterclasses for clients of Four Seasons, and uses the space to explore new recipes, sharing with friends and family.
Simone is as quick as his Ducatti, we speak about his motorcycle accident he had while working for the chef Gordon Ramsey in London. Now he’s more careful, and he swears to stay focused when riding home to Versaille from Paris, but he acknowledges it is still dangerous yet practical given the traffic.
We head to Versailles local market, he shows us around and explains the vendors and the general historical theme of how the market works. He is a regular here despite having his own magnificent garden which we visited later on the same day.
The bakery in Versailles is run by Japanese, here we pick up some bread and desserts for lunch, it looks like a 1980’s hairdresser and is named “the crowing rooster” – I am not sure how they came up with the name. It’s a strange combination, Japanese speaking French, they act Japanese smiling and doing their best to have clients satisfied but this is not the usual French bakery.
And then we head to Simone’s 4 hectares garden in Versailles, we arrive at a rusted reddish-brown gate locked with a chain link and his combination opens it easily. I had no idea until I stepped into the garden how mind-boggling it is. Simone rushes past me leaving with the oversized veggie basket, he is off. I wander around in awe and it’s this very garden which supplies the Four Seasons Hotel restaurant George. It goes on and on, I am eating fresh vine tomatoes, courgettes, and raspberries – I am in heaven before the rain begins.
Back to his house, we start to work with garden-fresh veggies, and it is the end of September, the first day of fall. The pasta is flowing as he prepares a mushroom (Cepes & Girolles) sauce using veal stock and some oil and butter. The C3 performs up to any chef’s standards and it is great to test it.
Drinking some Tuscan wine from his cellar, and sharing his Dad’s Lomo we begin to get lunch rolling as the family chills and watches the Sunday Gran Prix and Moto-GP. The space at Simone’s is made to entertain and he has it perfectly equipped.
I whip up a garden-fresh salad and some leaks and courgettes, we finally sit down for a feast of wonderful fall raw materials; baby cucumbers, white tomatoes, and the last fresh peas of the season.
While the day passes, sipping wine we finish a Sunday at his pinball machine and back to Paris and the difficult roadways due to strikes and other political issues.