The Blue Bay, which now has a second Michelin star, is undergoing a transformation while nonetheless preserving what has made the restaurant’s reputation. With a new layout, new décor and a new terrace, this must-see Monaco restaurant, located in the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, never ceases to surprise. We talk to interior designer Alexandra Saguet and Chef Marcel Ravin about this new space that so resembles him.
What’s in store at the Blue Bay in 2023?
Marcel Ravin: The continuity that we like but in a new form! I contributed to developing this new space by creating a mood board to express my thoughts and desires. I wanted to present the five elements that resonate with my culture and the things that were passed on to me by my elders.
What was on the mood board?
Alexandra Saguet: A wealth of information that immediately helped me transport myself into a fascinating universe. It was a challenge for me to succeed in realising it and finding a balance, something which the Chef knows so well how to do in the kitchen. Something else that was key was the book D’un Rocher à l’autre, which Chef Marcel Ravin gave me at our first meeting at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. It enabled me to learn about his background and to understand the nature and origins of his cuisine. The anecdotes transported me to a happy childhood at the heart of nature, made up of simple pleasures such as sharing meals as a family. A real return to his roots, full of emotion.
Alexandra Saguet’s first experience of the Blue Bay:
“I discovered the Chef’s culinary art during a magnificent dinner at the Blue Bay. I was lucky to go during the summer season when from the moment you arrive on the terrace you are faced with the sea stretching as far as the eye can see. During this experience I was captivated by the multicultural and gastronomical universe and imprint you find in the dishes. A delicate journey of flavours, colours and smells that enables its travellers to escape elsewhere, to the West Indies, while remaining firmly anchored in Monaco.”
Can we consider this a “recasting” of the Blue Bay?
A.S: Yes. Because its story is already there, thanks to Chef Marcel Ravin and his cuisine, unique universe and Michelin stars. And now we are writing a new chapter of the book together, as if to complete it. To highlight his work further and to offer the perfect gastronomical journey that will give the greatest possible sensory pleasure.
M.R: There is still the tireless creation that nourishes me. What is changing is the way it will be presented.
What are the values running through this project?
M.R: Honesty and transmission. I can’t compose or create without Mother Nature. Thanks to her, we collect, sow, harvest and preserve, all of which is needed for our combinations and experiments. This is what runs through the project.
A.S: The chef described to me an “ode to life and nature”. He wanted the customers to be transported away by the rhythm of nature and to refer to the five elements: wood, fire, water, metal and earth.
How do you translate these ideas into this new BlueBay?
A.S: Through generous shapes adapted to circulation through the restaurant. At the Blue Bay, the starting point was the curved line that marks the edge of the terrace. I used this architectural feature to create the restaurant’s future design. There is marble marquetry on the floor consisting of ogives, associated with the points of the compass, curved walls separating the different spaces, convivial round tables and enveloping chairs. There will be new organic forms from floor to ceiling. A warm and intimate atmosphere, like being invited to someone’s home.
Excellence is in the details. Are there any details of your work for the Blue Bay that you can share with us?
A.S: It definitely is, and all the more so in a fine-dining restaurant. The diversity of textures, flavours and the perfect balance of Chef Marcel Ravin’s food have pushed me to find this same alchemy and harmony in my work. Our emotions came together to let the creative and aesthetic process of beauty and what is good speak for itself. The experience was such that natural materials such as wood and minerals and the shapes of the project quickly became obvious to me. Here the tones will be amber and natural, recalling the materials in their raw state and thus creating a direct link with nature. The sea also inspired me as a horizon. A mural illustrates this idea.
And La Table de Marcel?
A.S: This is a central element of the project. The aim, at the Chef’s request, was to create what we call a “box in a box”, a major principle of architecture. At this table, he wanted it to be possible to share an experience of bold flavours and textures in an intimate setting.
M.R: Yes, I wanted a “restaurant within a restaurant”. So that our customers could have the experience of time standing still, of an extra-sensory journey. I also wanted to bring together artists and artisans from the worlds of gastronomy and culture so that each could express their art.
What do you want to offer your guests?
A.S: The Chef wanted to share with his guests the art of feng shui in order to harmonise the energy of the environment and promote guests’ well-being.
M.R: I want the guests to come and discover a world where every table feels special.
The open kitchen is an iconic space within the Blue Bay. How has it been redesigned?
M.R: I wanted it to be even more open so that our customers could be more immersed in the action.
A.S: This space reveals to the room the contribution of the kitchen staff. The patisserie island, in the centre of the restaurant, as the Chef wanted, is the stage for a lively ballet.
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