- Publish Date: Jan 4, 2010
Cyril Renaud knew as a seven year-old in Nantes, France that he wanted to be a chef, although he admits that being a painter or florist would have been okay if the cooking thing hadn't worked out.
He learned to cook in his mother's kitchen, preparing Breton dishes such as galettes (savory buckwheat crepes). He attended cooking school in Brittany and moved on to restaurants across France and Belgium. Always looking for new inspiration, he moved to New York in 1991, and started at Cellar in the Sky. His big break came when he met David Bouley and they bonded over their love of food and flowers. He became Bouley’s chef de cuisine for two years. He then moved on to the legendary La Caravelle, where he earned three stars from The New York Times and was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Rising Star of the Year award.
In 2000, Cyril followed his love of freedom and opened Fleur de Sel, which quickly became a cult favorite among foodies. The combination of his stunning food and the warmth of his character has proven very successful. In 2008 he closed Fleur de Sel and opened Bar Breton, which features Brittany-inspired small plates, including seafood and galettes, in a brasserie-style setting.
For a list of Cyril’s favorite restaurants, wines and much more, go to his exclusive Bottlenotes interview.