Mauro Colagreco's Earthly Delights

Daily Pickings From Michelin-Starred Mirazur's Organic Garden

Contradictory as it sounds, chef Mauro Colagreco’s signature dish at his Mirazur restaurant in Menton, France (a coastal village much-favored by the artist Jean Cocteau), changes every day. “The Little Garden,” a colorful symphony of tender young vegetables (carrots, turnips, zucchini, asparagus, radish), herbs and edible flowers, is entirely dependent on what is available each morning in a plot a stone’s throw away. This organic garden, soaked in the sun and sea air of the Cote d’Azur, is the main supply for Mirazur, a modern three-story space perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking Menton (and in the distance, Monaco), five minutes from the border of Italy. Imbued with the flavors of the immediate area, the menu is “a showcase for the terroir,” according to Colacreco. From Menton’s trademark juicy citrus to the gamberi rossi from nearby San Remo and the spoils of the garden (which also includes cherries, figs, walnuts, spicy spinach and at least 40 varieties of tomatoes), each day's selection from this Michelin-starred restaurant is an artful combination of land and sea. Argentinian-born Colagreco worked in the kitchens of the three-Michelin-starred chef Bernard Loiseau, and subsequently Alain Passard of the celebrated L’Arpege in Paris (whose biodynamic garden and vegetable-centric dishes are an influence), before opening Mirazur in 2006. “I had many ideas for the restaurant, taken from my experiences,” says Colagreco. “But one week after opening I put all these ideas and menus in the garbage and I started afresh. This is one of the best places in the world for produce, and I needed to use that.” 


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