Despite the health crisis forcing the closure of restaurants, the Red Guide insisted on maintaining its 2021 edition. This year, only one establishment was awarded the third macaroon: AM, the restaurant where Marseille-based chef Alexandre Mazzia works. This 44-year-old chef, who has been treating us to daring Mediterranean cuisine in the heart of the city of Marseille for the past six years, has become the 30th chef in France to join the prestigious circle of triple-starred restaurants. Focus on this new great chef…
A former basketball player born in sub-Saharan Africa and adopted from Marseille, Alexandre Mazzia found his calling through a meal at Gérald Passedat’s, the other three-star chef from Marseille. This experience led him to change his life by reorienting himself towards the restaurant business, first as the personal chef of a billionaire, before packing his bags in Marseille in 2010. After working for three years at the Cité radieuse – Le Corbusier restaurant, he opened a 24-seat restaurant in a narrow street in the Prado residential district, with a very sober style. Six years later, after a first and a second star, the Michelin Guide awarded him the third macaroon, praising “the energy and concentration of the teams, the perfection in the execution, the incredible regularity of the cuisine,” and thus consecrating the meteoric rise of this chef and explorer of flavors.
At Alexandre Mazzia’s table, the cuisine is not that of traditional “French-style” dishes. Here, the chef ferments, roasts, spices, and smokes, combining exotic products from elsewhere, notably from his native Congo, with those of local producers that he sublimates with herbs and spices – he has more than 200 in stock. Alexandre Mazzia likes to marry disparate tastes and is not afraid of unexpected associations, such as that of an eel with chocolate or a semolina scented with orange blossom, and wasabi with a shell soup which makes his reputation. Taking his cue from a modern, Mediterranean cuisine, the chef evolves his recipes as the days go by, and it is not uncommon for him to linger until the middle of the night to test a new combination. In the end, sumptuous and audacious dishes highlight Alexandre Mazzia’s impressive ability to adapt ingredients to create an alchemy of flavors that transport the tastebuds on a wonderful culinary journey. His modern, Mediterranean cuisine has quickly earned him a reputation that extends beyond Marseille. Proposals from investors have also flocked to open other addresses, but the chef is, above all, interested in his freedom and prefers to devote all his time to his restaurant and his customers.
However, the health crisis led Alexandre Mazzia to set up a food truck, which he opened last October. Named Michel, in homage to his grandfather, it allows the chef to stay open a few meters away from his establishment and continue to titillate the tastebuds of the people of Marseille… like that day when he served pancakes with parsnip cream or croque-monsieur with cereal bread topped with hummus with seaweed, marinated squash and candied celery, just a few meters from the AM restaurant.
Enough to liberate your tastebuds by offering them a trip to sublime elsewhere, despite the restrictions imposed at the European borders.
AM by Alexandre Mazzia
9, rue François-Rocca, Marseilles 8th district
Food truck: down Paradise Street
Lunch: between 115 and 265 €.
Dinner: between 215 and 345 €.