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LUXURY CHAMPAGNES, WINES & SPIRITS

Closeries: Stéphanie Watine & Grégory Marchand

Born out of the imagination of founder and CEO of Clos19, Stéphanie Watine, Closeries is all about encounters.
Closeries is a series of rare encounters between an outstanding personality and a bottle that is just as much.

In each chapter of this series, Stéphanie Watine brings to light her guest through a sensory story and an unforgettable tasting experience. Inspired conversations over exceptional wines.

This chapter of Closeries takes us to an amazing encounter with Gregory Marchand, chef and owner of the Frenchie restaurants, located in Paris and London. Stéphanie Watine and her guest will have the privilege of tasting a Grand Cru de Bourgogne, Clos de Lambrays. This wine is grown organically in a plot which is as heterogeneous as it is exceptional. This originality reflects Gregory’s passion for the vines and the winegrowers.

 

Stéphanie Watine

Hello Grégory Marchand. A few words to introduce you to our readers. You are the successful owner and the creative chef of the Frenchie restaurant. Or shall I say the "Frenchies". How many restaurants do you have to date?

Grégory Marchand

So we opened the Frenchie restaurant in 2009, on Rue du Nil. Then a wine bar on the other side of the street, then the Frenchie-To-Go take-out counter, with a little Anglo-American-English touch, then a wine shop, and then Frenchie London in 2016... Frenchie Pigalle opened in the midst of the pandemic, in June last year. And finaly we opened Frenchie Verbier in Switzerland… so I don't know… how much is it? Six I think, but we don't count. Maybe we should ...

Stéphanie Watine

Grégory, the idea behind this series is to pair an outstanding personality with a wine bottle that is just as much.
For this “Closeries” chapter, you have chosen a Burgundy Grand Cru, the Clos des Lambrays 2018. Very good choice. Who has chosen this wine? Is it Grégory the chef or Grégory the owner of a wine cellar?

Grégory Marchand

It’s a bit of both. You know I am only an enlightened wine enthusiast. I am a chef and an entrepreneur, and I have a Wine Director, Aurélien Massé. Aurélien allows me to discover lots of wines. It's true that the grands crus always intrigued me. But it's actually quite new to us. When we opened in 2009, we decided to invest part of our cash in wines for aging. Our sommelier team has traveled all over France to find rare gems, and it's just now that we are starting to take them out of the cellar. It takes a lot of patience for great wines.

Stéphanie Watine

Stéphanie Watine

Which dish would you pair it with?

Grégory Marchand

I would see game. But not game meat with too much of a strong taste. A game with soft flesh, such as a mallard duck for example. You could roast it whole, then lacquer it with honey, spices, and finally Lapsang Souchong. To mirror the wine's smoked tea notes. We could also take his thighs, and do duck leg confit. We could use them to stuff fresh pasta like small agnolotti. They would be boiled in a black garlic mushroom broth to harmonize with the complexity of the wine. And we could pour a little Lapsang Souchong on it to give its final touch to the dish.

Stéphanie Watine

That sounds promising!
Let's come back to your personal journey. You opened your first restaurant, Le Frenchie Rue du Nil, in 2009. Before that, you worked in London and New York.

Grégory Marchand

Yes, I graduated from the Hospitality Management School of Nantes. Then I left. I had no ties, I just left with my set of cooking knives. I have traveled all over the world ... passing through Scotland, London, Hong Kong, Andalusia and finally New York. Then I settled in Paris. This journey reflects what my cooking is today. Anchored in the French terroir, but also a reflection of ten years of travels which instilled international notes in my dishes.

Stéphanie Watine

You have transformed this little Rue du Nil, in the Sentier district of Paris, into a temple of gastronomy. Did you foresee such a craze?

Grégory Marchand

In fact, I didn't know Paris at all. And I discovered this little Rue du Nil completely by chance. This small cobbled street, 72 meters long, in the heart of the textiles and clothing district. A lot of people tell me I was a visionary but no ... I was just very naive. If I had known Paris, I would never have ventured into this little street. The rest of the projects developed organically, depending on the opportunities. I also had my suppliers move near me. So today there is a bakery, a fishmonger, a vegetable gardener, a coffee roaster, a chocolatier…. We finally recreated a small village in the heart of Paris.

Stéphanie Watine

Grégory, it seems that challenges do not scare you. What's next? Do you already have an idea?

Grégory Marchand

The first challenge will be to reopen all the restaurants. Rebuild our foundations. During this break, we thought a lot. And that changed our vision of things, and the way we want to continue doing things. In particular through the “L'Envol” farm, agroecology, and waste management. We also want to give our company a culture of caring through a label named "Respect your cuisine". This label advocates inclusion and caring in the company. We want to address these topics in a deeper way before we expand the business again. We will also see what opportunities will be available to us ...

Stéphanie Watine

Last question: the name Frenchie? What was the inspiration behind this name?

Grégory Marchand

It's a funny story. When I was in London, I worked with Jamie Oliver's at Fifteen restaurant. I was the chef there, and Jamie nicknamed me that… You can imagine him walking into the kitchen and shouting: "Hey Frenchie!" This nickname stuck to me ... When I moved to New York, most people didn't know my real name. Even today when I go back to London or New York, my friends still call me Frenchie. The idea was also to say, through this name, that the restaurant is French, but with strong Anglo-Saxon inspirations.

Stéphanie Watine

Grégory Marchand thank you for sharing this chapter of Closeries with us.
It was a pleasure to discuss together and discover this grand cru, Clos des Lambrays 2018

Clos des Lambrays wines are only available on Clos19 France.