Starting from September, the 32-year-old ambitious Damien takes charge of this exceptional kitchen brigade.
Indeed is an impressive task, but this discreet chef is determined to continue the tradition of excellence of this two-starred restaurant. "I am at ease behind the stoves, it’s my place" he declared.
Originally from Chartres, he wants to maintain the establishment’s identity but at the same time to incorporate his own expression. The curious Chef is always on the lookout for anything that can feed his creativity. He declared that he is "Respecting the classics of French cuisine with a modern twist".
From a very young age, he discovered his passion for cooking and eating well.
With a reserved character, his culinary creations are a creative way to express himself, "I like discovering new techniques, creating, always trying," he says.
Without absolutely no doubt in his ability, Damien will keep the restaurant on course, or even take it further, in the future.
Pierre Maillet decided to leave
Firm and definitive, Pierre Maillet’s decision has been well thought-through, he has decided to leave and let Damien in charge. “Cooking remains my passion and the Hameau Albert 1er gastronomic restaurant is the perfect place to fulfill one’s dreams, but today, at 45 years of age, twenty-five years of which have been spent in Michelin-starred restaurants, I am handing over to my Second Chef, Damien Leveau” declared Pierre.
“At the Albert 1er, I had the enormous pleasure of cooking the cuisine I like the most, that of excellence. It was an extraordinary adventure of a lifetime, but the pace of this type of work, constantly questioning each plate and the perpetual race to always do better demands a lot of energy. I need a bit of time to breathe”, admits this rigorous, albeit anxious perfectionist.
“I have to admit, it’s time to make room for the younger generation and it turns out that my Second Chef has all the necessary skills”.
He was able to maintain and affirm two Michelin stars, that praise a skillful, tasty, delicate and enchanting cuisine, with Alpine and Piedmont influences.
Now Pierre wants to spend more time with his family, do some sport, and even take a little time off.
He ensured the continuity of the menus as well as the reputation of the establishment, run by his wife Perrine Carrier-Maillet. "The history of this restaurant now continues with Damien Leveau, who arrived here six years ago, and who was my Second Chef for four years. We share the same vision of cooking, one that makes sense and does not compromise on the choice of products, nor on the precision of the cooking or the sauces, nor on the rigor of the presentation. I have every confidence in him to take up the challenge with flying colors, we have been preparing this handover for several months".
If the Carrier-Maillet family have the confidence in him to follow in the footsteps of the previous two Pierres, he is, undoubtedly, a wonderful chef with undiscovered potential.
Come and discover for yourself!
Check Albert 1er's official website here.