Why starred chef Alexandre Mazzia is reopening his food-truck

Food truck, season three. After confinement, after the opening last summer, the starred chef Alexandre Mazzia reopens, this Thursday in Marseille, his food-truck called “Michel”, in honor of his fishing grandfather. This time in the same street as his famous gourmet restaurant AM, at 17, rue François Rocca. “We managed to have a place there, it’s important for me to have a vision of the truck, to see the influx, to be close to my teams”, confides Alexandre Mazzia in his voice still hungry.

On the menu, we find, but in seasonal colors, the Croc-Mazz (€16), Buna-Mazz (€13) and Hot Mazz (€19) which attract between 100 and 200 people every day. At the helm, a new team formed in the kitchens of Alexandre Mazzia “to have precision, and to know how we work with the products, which are the same as for the restaurant”. “Without the know-how and the state of mind, it’s never the same thing”, adds the chef, whom the three Michelin stars and the international recognition by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants have not diverted from his desires. of street food.

“It’s not the same job…”

“It’s not the same profession, explains Alexandre Mazzia. It’s a different organization, with heat inertia, questions of moistening the bread to keep it crisp, of packaging… How to also best preserve the ingredients, all of that is important. Especially since many take away and then go to the sea”. It is also a strong demand from customers, according to the chef, who receives many calls and emails on this subject.

“Street food, basically, is made up of few elements, a bread, three toppings, a sauce, attention to detail and each component plays a role,” says François Blanc, culinary journalist and author of Paris Street Food, published in October by Alain Ducasse editions. “The great chefs will bring nobility to the choice of ingredients, respect for the seasons. It is also a way to expand their offer by being accessible. »

“The starred chef, whether he makes a sandwich or a plate, he will have this desire to do it in a qualitative way, and to bring a vision, a little twist”, abounds Florent Pietravalle, starred chef of La Mirande, to Avignon, which, after its food-truck experience during confinement, preferred to refocus on the restaurant.

Make an appointment at the Olympics

Of the 50 Parisian addresses listed by François Blanc, a dozen or so are linked to known chefs before doing street food. “In Paris, Grégory Marchand is the first chef to embark on take-out catering, continues François Blanc. In recent examples, there is Mory Sacko, who opened a branch dedicated to fried chicken. The fact remains that in Paris, street-food is mainly consumed at the table, in counter or stall mode. Not to mention the baos, for example, which have been integrated into many restaurant menus. “Food-trucks have never really caught on, particularly because of location issues,” says François Blanc.

Not enough to discourage Alexandre Mazzia, who admits that he hardly looks at what is being done elsewhere. He remains focused on his desires, his objective. Announced as an “ephemeral two-month pop-up”, his food-truck Michel could extend the season without difficulty: the authorization from the town hall runs, in fact, until the end of the year. “I’m a worrier, nothing is ever acquired,” says Alexandre Mazzia, who first wants to see if gourmets follow. In any case, Michel will be there for the 2024 Olympics, in the Olympic village.

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