The news that there is a new head chef in town, Jean Imbert at the Martinez, caused ripples of excitement in Cannes and across the culinary world. The Hotel Martinez is not just any hotel, after all, and Jean Imbert is not just any cook.
Jean Imbert is a rising French chef known for his delicious and charming cooking style that has won the hearts of numerous celebrities around the world. His work for sportspeople, actors and performers has led to him being called “the chef of the stars”. Some of his notable achievements include:
- Winning the fourth season of the French edition of the reality TV show Top Chef in 2013
- Taking over as the new celebrity chef on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Train in 2022
- Launching a cookbook titled “Jean Imbert: My French Recipes”
- Replacing Alain Ducasse at the historic Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris in 2022 – controversial at the time – where he crafted a menu that tells the story of French history and cuisine
- Opening several successful restaurants in Paris and New York, including Beef Club, Le Servan, and Encore.
Overall, Imbert has achieved great success as a chef and is highly regarded for his innovative and modern approach to traditional French cuisine. He has a reputation for re-visiting classic French dishes (he even wrote a successful book on the subject). Aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Train, he was responsible for creating a new menu that reflects the gastronomic traditions of the countries and landscapes traversed by the train.
On the downside, he is still considered something of an outsider in the refined world of gastronomy. Food critic Francois-Regis Gaudry described Imbert’s appointment to the Plaza at the time as all too “bling-bling”. “He has neither the CV nor the experience for such a place,” he told AFP.
Just in time for the Cannes festival 2023
Imbert takes over from Cannes’ own Christian Sinicropi, who worked there for 22 years, earned two Michelin stars and was something of a hero among local Martinez diners. One of Imbert’s first tasks will be to create a suitable environment for the Cannes Film Festival 2023, notably on the high-profile beach and jetty.
See details about the Hotel Martinez, part of the Hyatt group.