Jacques Chibois

  • Quiet strength



Being responsible for some of the Riviera’s finest fine dining – at the Gray d’Albion in the Eighties then in his own restaurant since 1996 –, Jacques Chibois is not a man who needs to speak out to be heard. He welcomes us as if for dinner in his home and with characteristic discretion talks about his 20 years at Bastide Saint Antoine, his biggest life project. “When I was a child in the Limousin, every Christmas we were sent a small crate of clementines from Nice – for me that epitomised Provence!“ In the mid-Nineties he quit Cannes’s opulent Croisette to live his dream of owning a Relais & Châteaux hotel. “I wanted to get away from traditional hotel-keeping and the Bastide offered a perfect Provençal opportunity.“ Twenty years later the place is as authentic as ever, and he and his wife, Odette, have just bought an adjoining property so as to create a bijou “hamlet“. The next 20 years? “The very word ‘retirement’ depresses me. Once you step out of the loop there’s only aches and pains to remind you you’re alive!“ Adding with his usual humility: “I’ve decided to work with young people, so as to retain my enthusiasm and pass on my knowledge. We have to give back what life has brought us.“ Masterfully he runs the new team with which he intends to recover his second Michelin star. “The youngsters bring new life to the Bastide. Losing that star seemed unjust*, so we’ll do our level best to win it back. Personally I’ve already had every recognition from guides and the media, I want this accolade for my second chef, Laurent Barberot, as well.“


*A few years previously the Michelin had in fact intimated a third star for him; Ed.


Par Marjorie Modi

Photo Jean-Michel Sordello