A young Parisian chef with a theatrical look


Name: Julien Sebbag

Age: 29

Hometown: Paris

Currently lives: A bright loft in Belleville, Paris 20th

Fame claim: Mr. Sebbag is a self-taught caterer-turned-chef who has transformed his wildly theatrical style of cooking into high-profile restaurant stints and collaborations with lifestyle brands. When restaurants closed during the pandemic, he started posting sexy cooking tutorials on Instagram. In one, Mr. Sebbag suggestively peels the leaves of an artichoke. In another, he nonchalantly spins a fish and salts it with the seductive sounds of LCD Soundsystem. He now has more than 85,000 followers. “It’s almost a meditative moment for me to cook for myself,” Mr. Sebbag said. “And when I take care of the music and the lights, as I do in my restaurant, I am immersed in a universe. It’s almost as if time stands still.

Big cut: As a private chef, he worked in affluent homes in Paris, Madrid, Tel Aviv and London, where videos of him splashing tahini on roasted eggplant and other entertaining moves were widely shared on social media. In 2018, thanks to the support of one of these customers, Jean-David Sarfati (owner of a hotel and restaurant group in Paris), Mr. Sebbag launched a Tuesday dinner called Chez Oim at the Bus Palladium, a live music hall in Pigalle. This was followed by a summer stint at Creatures, the rooftop restaurant at Galeries Lafayette, the venerable department store on Boulevard Haussmann.

Last project: Last summer, he opened Forest, a concept restaurant inside the Museum of Modern Art named after his favorite song from the Cure. The indoor-outdoor spot serves dishes like Green Peace, a vegetarian appetizer made with roasted green cabbage, cashews, and ginger. In September, he represents the restaurant at the Taste of Paris gastronomic fair, where he stands out alongside starred chefs. “I felt more confident,” he said. “I no longer felt like an impostor.”

Next thing: This summer, he plans to open a sandwich shop called Micho somewhere in the first arrondissement, based on a pop-up event he hosted last year featuring stuffed challah sandwiches. He also hopes to open another Forest site in Brussels.

Food is fashionable: When not in the kitchen, Mr. Sebbag has collaborated with brands such as champagne house Ruinart (for a pop-up restaurant in Paris) and Maison Valentino (as a model for a fashion series in the magazine Numéro ). Her dream is to create a fashionable line of chef’s clothing. “They’re never pretty or comfortable,” he said.


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