On the night of August 27-28, the emblematic Mess restaurant at the foot of the Castillet in Perpignan caught fire. Today, while the building is destroyed, it is chef Julien Hermida who is reborn from its ashes.
Julien Hermida, Phoenix. Almost four months after the devastating fire in the restaurant where he served at the foot of the Castillet in Perpignan, the Mess, the chef has the fierce intention to “jump back very quickly.” No more experts, employees, suppliers and police investigative services to manage in this turmoil. He devotes himself completely, together with his wife Magalie, to his life after death. It imagined the day after the fire, which shook the entire department. “We are now on a more personal, more elitist concept”, emphasizes the interested party. Starter.
Objective: Michelin star and title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France
“The Mess is ancient history.” All staff have been dismissed due to force majeure due to complete destruction of goodwill. While a sales agreement for the latter had just been signed by Julien and Magalie Hermida. If, after the fire, the couple were still involved in what was left of the establishment, now, “I don’t go there anymore”confesses the man behind the stove: “There’s nothing more we can do about it, who knows when it will be usable again. What breaks my heart is realizing all the work that had been done there. But I tell myself that we has fulfilled our mission..”
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Perpignan: Magalie and Julien Hermida will “take their time and get up as soon as possible” after the Mess fire
Therefore, this sad event is now the beginning of a new momentum for the traveling Hermida couple “from a blank sheet” : “I didn’t let myself down. I turned my anger into something life-saving built around several thoughts: what do we do now? How do we achieve our goal of a Michelin star and the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France? What lessons can we learn from Mess- the fire? For this last question, the two catering professionals decided to break away from any connection with the businessman Abi-Nader Chukri, the owner of the Messen’s business, and leave as a duo. They therefore carry out the Espi establishment on the Quai Vauban, which they had to correlate with the Fair.
In the privacy of 14 envelopes
For the rest, and at the time of working on the financial part of the project, you must lead Perpignan externally, in a city located five minutes from her, to “a concept that will be more than a restaurant: a unique culinary experience and gastronomic itinerary in the Pyrénées-Orientales.” In an intimate place (already found!) around 14 places, Julien Hermida will offer, directly under the eyes of his customers, a kitchen with the red thread of the region and the department’s identity: “But I’m not a locavore chef. I don’t forbid myself a counterpoint or an ingredient from elsewhere.” Tasting in a few months.