How The World's Best Restaurant Is Reopening During The Pandemic

Posted: Oct 19, 2020

In June 2019 at the age of 24, Benoît Huguenin became the head sommelier at Mirazur, crowned the World's Best Restaurant of 2019. He was by Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco's side as Mirazur received the title in a glitzy ceremony in Singapore.

It topped off an incredible year for the restaurant located footsteps from the Italian border in Menton on the French Riviera: Five months earlier it had been awarded its third Michelin star. With it, Colagreco became the first non-French chef in France to receive such an honor.

Fast forward to spring 2020 and the whirlwind four-day trip from the Côte d'Azur to Singapore and back again last summer seemed more like a lifetime ago.

With Mirazur shuttered to the public during France's 55-day COVID-19 lockdown, Huguenin's sole professional responsibility was in its kitchen, one of a team of six who had volunteered to prepare meals for local hospital workers three times a week.

Traditionally, guests have been able to also request a tour of the two gardens closest to the restaurant. (A further two are located two and seven miles away respectively). But, as Colagreco and his team worked to reimagine fine dining in the era of COVID-19, a decision was made to incorporate this alfresco setting into the dining experience.

"When clients arrive now, they are handed a mask and directed into the garden where they are served the aperitif," Huguenin explained. Beautifully plated and presented inside a picnic basket, it is designed to be enjoyed on a blanket carefully laid out at social distanced intervals.

By Chrissie McClatchie 
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