World chefs: Manrique brings new vibe to NYC brasserie

Tue Feb 8, 2011 6:36am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Laurent Manrique hopes to replicate the lively, Parisian vibe of his bistro and wine bars in San Francisco in his New York seafood brasserie, Millesime.

The 44-year-old chef, who grew up in Roques, a village in the Gascon region in southwest France, left for the United States in his 20s after developing a love of cooking from his grandmother and working a decade in Paris under master French chefs such as Yan Jacquot and Claude Deligne.

Manrique spoke to Reuters about goals for his new restaurant and his memories and experiences in France.

Q: What do you want to achieve with Millesime's menu?

A: "My goal is to share some of my childhood memories with my customers -- like the lemon mousseline I grew up with. With the overall experience, I want the customers to have a great time. At the end, everything should be good, and let's not make it into a destination space. Let's just go back."

Q: Compare Millesime with the brasseries you grew with?

A: "To do it exactly like how it was would be impossible, just because we are in different countries. New Yorkers live differently from Parisians. The products are different. Some brasseries in France are 300 years old. Lunchtime in Paris, people still have wine and alcohol. In New York, people like to go out late like in Paris and that's what I like about it."

Q: How does a brasserie like Millesime fit into the current New York dining scene?   Continued...

<p>French chef Laurent Manrique poses in this undated photo in his New York seafood brasserie Millesime. REUTERS/Melissa Hom/Undated handout</p>