On the heels of its stunning renovation this past fall, Alain Ducasse’s Benoit New York will introduce a team of fresh faces in 2017, including newly appointed Executive Chef Laëtitia Rouabah, ushering in the next era at one of Manhattan’s iconic French bistros.
Laëtitia, who has been serving as Chef de Cuisine at Benoit alongside current Executive Chef Philippe Bertineau since earlier this fall, will continue to draw inspiration from the “New York meets Paris” approach that influenced Benoit’s recent renovations. Under her direction, guests can expect unique contemporary touches that elevate familiar flavors and techniques to exciting new interpretations, while still respecting Benoit’s traditional bistro roots and classic French cuisine. Bertineau, who played a key role in establishing Benoit’s reputation as one of New York City’s most reputable Parisian bistros over the last six years, has been helping with Laëtitia’s smooth transition into the New York culinary scene. He will say goodbye to the restaurant at the end of 2016 to explore new opportunities.
Prior to joining Benoit, Laëtitia was Chef Patronne (head chef and host) at Allard for three years, considered one of the few remaining authentic, gourmet bistros in Paris, well known for having generations of female chefs at the helm. She is a seasoned veteran of the Alain Ducasse world, having initially joined the team in 2004. She began her career at the renowned Relais Plaza brasserie inside the Hotel Plaza Athénée, rapidly working her way up from line cook to Chef de Partie. Since then, she has been part of the opening team for Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, and also climbed the ranks at Jules Verne, Ducasse’s iconic restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower, and at Air France’s Salon La Première, the most exclusive first class lounge in the world.
Alongside Laëtitia is Head Pastry Chef Thomas Padovani, who arrived last April and at age 26, brings more than a decade of experience to the restaurant. Originally from Corsica, he was previously Chef de Partie in the pastry kitchen at Hotel Plaza Athénée, where he worked under acclaimed French pâtissier Christophe Michalak. He also spent some time in the kitchen at Angelina, the famous Parisian tea house recognized for its excellence in desserts. Like Laëtitia, Thomas brings a more original and spirited approach to classic French desserts, balancing tradition with innovation.
Additionally, Benoit welcomes Christopher Charraudeau as its new General Manager, who was most recently the Restaurant Manager at the three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London, and strives to bring a superior level of service to Ducasse’s flagship New York City restaurant.
Laëtitia and her team will lead Benoit’s evolution within New York City’s dining scene, as part of Alain Ducasse’s overall vision to evolve the restaurant into a more modern dining destination, with a revitalized identity as an authentic Parisian bistro with New York sensibility. With Benoit’s fresh aesthetic and team in place, guests can look forward to more exciting news and events in 2017.