To meet Olivier Bikao and enjoy the exceptional cuisine of Amaury Bouhours, do come and join us at Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse.
Luxury service with Olivier Bikao
November 12, 2021
Bit of background
I was born just outside Paris and I began my career at Marcel on Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Next I worked at Hôtel Plaza Athénée under Alain Ducasse, which was to be a pivotal moment for me. After working my way up at Frederic Vardon to the role of restaurant director, I returned to Ducasse – this time starting a new chapter at Le Meurice.
Tell us about Le Meurice
In 2020, I got a call from Alain Ducasse offering me the opportunity of a lifetime. He invited me to work alongside his executive chef, Amaury Bouhours, to modernise Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse. Starting in the middle of lockdown was interesting but I immersed myself in the hotel industry and got to know the amazing team here. There are 15 of us involved in service roles and as part of my commitment to helping young people we have several apprentices too.
What’s special about the design of the restaurant?
It’s a truly majestic place, inspired by the Salon de la Paix at the Château de Versailles. I think it’s extraordinary the way Philippe Starck has modernised it with unique features yet retained all its original grandeur and charm. For example, the waterfall sculpture by Aristide Najean and the eye-catching Eero Saarinen’s Tulip chairs. Other special touches include fine Japanese porcelain and Murano glass. In contrast to the paintings and the marble, our tables are set with purity. We wanted them to be as bright as the natural daylight in the restaurant. The central island completes the appeal, decorated with fresh verbena, lemon thyme, lemongrass and sage.
What else would you like diners to know?
Each table is spaced out to offer a comfortable dining experience. We also like to highlight the exquisite craftsmanship so diners can appreciate the stories and artistic vision behind what they are experiencing. As restaurant director, I see this as an essential and very enjoyable part of my role.
Tell us about your approach to service
For me, service is about delivering the highest level of hospitality and putting our guests at the centre of everything we do. I’m passionate about connecting with and caring for people, be it creating harmony and a sense of working together as a team or ensuring that each diner’s experience with us is special. I always take a moment before opening the restaurant to feel connected with the place, that way I can ensure others will feel the same way.
Tell us about your charity work
I have a passion for helping people so I joined the Ô Service – Des Talents de Demain association and Croq’ l’Espoir. Thanks Denis Courtiade, ambassador for these associations, a team of trusty volunteers are able to organise charity dinners and cooking masterclasses to raise money for sick children. This is a cause close to my heart and a great way of giving back to the community.
What do you love most about your job?
Each customer expects something slightly different from us and when we deliver that there’s no better feeling. I love adapting to what our guests needs, from offering speedy and discrete service for a business lunch to making someone’s birthday dinner memorable. When a guest says thank you and promises to return, it’s a satisfying sense of achievement and contentment for a job well done.
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