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December 2023

Franck Chevrier

Spice times

“Our suppliers and producers respect their products and growers.” 

By Milena Radoman - Photo Jean-Michel Sordello

“Spices are my Proust madeleine,” enthuses Franck Chevrier, founder of Place des Épices and a member of the Collège Culinaire de France since 2019. This son of Chevreuse gourmet restaurateurs fondly remembers the aromas in the village grocers he smelled as a child... and which have never left him. Having worked as an artistic director for some of the biggest luxury brands in Paris and then Nice, this designer decided to take the plunge in 2017. A keen traveller, he unearthed the best spice and herb cooperatives on his travels around Asia and Africa and collected ancestral recipes for curries and Ras-el-Hanout... The marathon runner started by building a well-referenced website and a wooden hut in his garden with his son Léo to store spice deliveries. Word got around, and orders poured in. Franck Chevrier worked non-stop during Covid, from 6 am to 10 pm. He ground to order, mixed the spices, packaged them... He even had to hire more staff and find a more spacious warehouse... Franck Chevrier now has two 300 m2 sites in Drap and boasts 7,000 customers, 500 of them professionals, including chefs Samuel Victori of Les Agitateurs, Thomas Hubert of Olive & Artichaut in Nice, and the Ducasse group's Michelin-starred restaurants. Genuine Ceylon cinnamon, white pepper from Sri Lanka, wild peppercorns from Tasmania... “We offer 350 products and 72 spice blends that we prepare ourselves, as well as a wide variety of salts, teas, and dried fruits... We only buy from cooperatives and intermediaries with whom we have built a trust relationship. Our suppliers and producers in Spain, Morocco, Egypt, India, Sri Lanka, France and Vietnam respect their products and growers.” Two of the best-selling and original blends are Zaatar, made with oregano, sumac and roasted sesame, and Dukkah, a mixture of nuts, seeds and toasted spices. At 54, the entrepreneur has several projects in mind to develop his own crops in the region. He's specifically looking for a 3-hectare plot of land for a kibbutz. “A place where people can live and work comfortably”.


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