Cybèle Idelot, the discreet quest for the good and the good

In France, gastronomy is a world of networks. There is the tight-knit group of Michelin stars. That of the bistronomes, stamped Fooding, city dwellers most of the time. The “top chefs”, who are surfing on their notoriety and multiplying ephemeral restaurants… Cooking schools, passages in brigades, rankings or television: so many connectors explaining that there are few experienced cooks who do not belong to any caste .

This is however the case of Cybèle Idelot. This American opened La Table de Cybèle in 2013, an oasis in the gastronomic desert of Boulogne-Billancourt (Haut-de-Seine). Above all, in 2019, it was incorporated into a more ambitious project: the transformation in the Yvelines of a former coaching inn from the 19th century.and century as a table d’hôte, with a permaculture vegetable garden and a zero-waste kitchen. In the middle of a 1.4 hectare park, planted with cherry and apple trees, where the rows of peas and artichokes separate from the space with wild flowers, Cybèle Idelot offers delicate and virtuous cuisine in a restaurant “living vegetable garden” which she called Beehive.

Truffaut lover

If her name still circulates little in the gastronomic networks, it is because Cybèle Idelot has made a career that goes against French standards. Born in 1973, the one whose first name is a reference to the film Sundays in Ville-d’Avray, of Serge Bourguignon, a grandiose “in a hipster atmosphere”. She lives in a house in the middle of the woods near San Francisco, with a vegetable garden that feeds the household. His mother is a clothing designer; his father writes screenplays for David Lynch or Francis Ford Coppola. “I spent my childhood on the sets. At 4 years old, on the set of Encounters of the third kind, I fell in love with François Truffaut, who puffed out his cheeks to make me laugh”remembers the chef in French barely tinged with a slight accent.

It is not the Hollywood gratin who awakens his taste buds, but his grandparents, who, every Thursday evening, bring out the silverware and crystal glasses for a dinner with French influences. On the menu: roast chicken, leg of lamb and green beans, floating island… In his family, cooking is a passion and a know-how that is passed on. As a teenager, Cybèle prefers to organize gourmet dinners rather than alcoholic evenings: “Cooking is really innate, she explains. It’s like I was made for this. »

Trout gravlax from the Pyrenees, nettle cream, fennel, apples and borage, created by chef Cybèle Idelot.

She navigates, however, begins studying art, travels, then ends up throwing herself far from everything, in Saint-Barthélémy, in the West Indies, where she finds a place as a private chef. After five years establishing the foundations of her cuisine, in 2000 she opened a seafood restaurant in the Hamptons, near New York. She thrives working with local fishermen, gets great reviews, but the investors turn out to be schemers, and the experience is cut short. Cybèle Idelot then becomes a private chef again, this time in New York, organizes weddings, cocktails for 2,000 people during fashion week and appreciates the adrenaline that these moments provide.

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