In 2009, after spending 10 years cooking in New York City, London, Marbella, and Hong Kong, Michelin-starred chef Gregory Marchand settled down in the French capital where he manages Frenchie, Frenchie Bar à Vins, Frenchie To Go, and Frenchie Caviste. His new project, Frenchie Pigalle, is nestled in the stylish Grand Pigalle Hôtel, a boutique hotel by Experimental Group.
The talented French interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon was called in to rethink the spaces of Frenchie Pigalle, designing most of the furniture and calling upon high-skilled craftspeople for some specific pieces. Since she had already transformed the hotel’s interiors in 2015, she had a taste of what she was working with.
In the entrance, the tiled floor and two huge dried flower bouquets by Paris florist Debeaulieu give you the feeling of arriving in the French countryside. In the dining area, a few columns, the window frames, and the stools are the only elements in black, while the rest of the palette is lighter, giving life to a bright and cozy ambience where big benches invite diners to sit comfortably. “I wanted to created a laid-back atmosphere as the one you find in the other Frenchie restaurants, but also a little bit refined as this one is located in a hotel,” Dorothée says.
The interior designer chose natural and simple materials such as oak for the tables, lime plaster on the walls, and leather with brass touches. The vintage wooden chairs were made by French artisan André Sornay; the bar is in green marble; and a few dark coral accents emphasize the natural light.
“On every project, I am always trying to pair with artisans that help me to create unique pieces,” Dorothée says. “Gregory told me that for the tableware of Frenchie, he had worked with Parisian ceramist Marion Graux, who has also collaborated with several well-known chefs in the city. She has this very cute atelier close by my office. So I decided to call her and ask her if she would like to team up on something different than what she was used to.”
The result? A big fresco with tiles and mirrors for one of the restaurant walls that Dorothée designed and Marion made by hand and enameled. “The only constraint was the size of Marion’s oven. That’s it,” Dorothée remembers. “So I draw these geometric shapes; we had to change some of them as they were too big and too fragile, but for the rest, Marion did the magic. She has this really cool palette of glazing: shiny, matte, spotted—they all look different. Some of the pieces are also used as plates.” It took around two and a half months to create the design, make the adjustments, and produce the whole ceramic fresco, which is clearly the star of the show.