On 18 January, the Michelin Guide announced the list of its 2021 award winners. There was a pleasant surprise in store for this new edition of the famous Red Guide, with three Institut Paul Bocuse alumni being awarded their coveted 1st star! Congratulations to Juliette Busetto (2014), Samuel Victori (2014) and Pierre-Jean Arpurt (2014 & 2017) at the helm of the restaurant Les Agitateurs in Nice.
Interview with our proud award-winning alumni
Can you briefly sum up your career so far, from Institut Paul Bocuse to the emergence of your trio and the creation of your restaurant?
The three of us met at the Institute in our 3rd year.
Juliette and Samuel completed their internships respectively at the Réserve de Beaulieu and the Pinède in Saint-Tropez, then both at the Maison Troisgros where they stayed for almost 2 years. After this spell in the region of Roanne, they went to Paris to join Eric Frechon’s kitchens in the Bristol Hotel, then Samuel joined the Passage 53 team. In 2018, they decided to return to the South and to set up their business.
Pierre-Jean, back from Shanghai, after opening a restaurant, meets up with the team again. We then decide to open a restaurant together, called Les Agitators, in Nice…
If you had to describe your restaurant in three words, which ones would you choose?
Simplicity, solace and poetry.
What was your reaction to the announcement of you being awarded this first star?
A huge feeling of joy mixed with great sense of pride! We would like to thank all the people who accompanied us and with whom we work.
Which of the skills you acquired during your time at the Institute have been decisive in your achieving this star?
Hard work, discipline, an entrepreneurial spirit.
What is your fondest memory of Institut Paul Bocuse?
A nicely ironed white jacket, a chef’s hat that I finally managed to put on properly, a snowy day, Training Chef Jousse and his expertise and that very clear feeling that I’d chosen the right career path. (Samuel).
How are you coping with the current context? Have you put in place any specific arrangements to adapt to this situation?
On December 17th we opened the Agitators’ pantry, right next to our restaurant. It is a caterer, delicatessen and pastry shop. We already had this project in mind prior to the health crisis, but the present situation convinced us to go ahead. We have a wide range of take-away or tailor-made menus that seem to suit the current needs of our clientele.
What could you say to current students and to those who wish to embark on a career in the culinary and foodservice professions today?
Start with the hardest part, never look for the easy way out. It’s a bit of a cliché, but believe in your dreams, never give up, be passionate; hard work will always pay off.
What can we wish you for the future?
No matter the destination, the important thing is the journey, so let this journey be full of happiness, projects and amazing encounters.
Three other former students from the Institute have been awarded a Bib Gourmand: Yuko Matsumoto (2006) – PY restaurant in Lyon 6th district, Sébastien Bras (1993) – Café Bras in Rodez and Ella Afflalo (2013) – Yima in Marseille.
The new generation of high potential chefs and restaurant owners is thus gradually taking hold in the Michelin Guide, and the best is yet to come!
Our Saisons training restaurant continues to shine
In 2020, Saisons became the first Michelin-star rated training restaurant in France, a real source of pride for our School. Our gastronomic restaurant retains its 1st star in the 2021 edition of the Michelin Guide.
Benefitting from real-life kitchen and foodservice conditions alongside a team of professionals, our Bachelor’s degree students in Food Service Management and Culinary Arts Management demonstrate their outstanding work of excellence and team spirit on a daily basis to make this training restaurant a must in French gastronomy. The award of this Michelin star also rewards the young culinary and foodservice talents who have worked from month to month in a variety of different positions.
Congratulations also to the 54 new Michelin stars for 2021.
You too, do you have stars in your eyes?
Come and tell us about your dreams and your career ambitions during one of our virtual open days.