Interview: Ella Aflalo, a rising chef

Sit down to have dinner with Ella Aflalo in Marseille, a young chef as bubbly as her cuisine. Between spices, sweets and refinement, she takes us on a journey through her cuisine. Discover her career and her vision of gastronomy with us.
Interview: Ella Aflalo, a rising chef
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With Le Collectionist, discover a generous and colourful cuisine with oriental flavours at the table of Ella Aflalo. This young 28-year-old chef is notably known for her appearance on Top Chef. With her 11,800 Instagram followers, she is part of a new generation of cooks and works with us to offer you an exceptional experience in Marseille, in the south of France. 

Ella Aflalo was born in Nice on the French Riviera, to an Israeli mother and a Moroccan father. It is at the heart of this cosmopolitan family that she developed her love and passion for gastronomy from an early age. Where the other children imagined themselves as an astronaut or a princess, young Ella was already dreaming of cooking. Inspired by holiday meals and the women in her family, she understood that love really comes together at the dinner table. This desire for sharing and togetherness can be found everywhere in her work and her plates. 

AN IRREPROACHABLE COURSE

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Ella studied at the prestigious Paul Bocuse institute in Lyon, and it was during her first internship that she met 3-star chef Arnaud Donckele, at La Pinède Plage in St Tropez. It was a striking first experience for the young woman, who remembers being "impressed by the actions" of this patient and passionate chef, particularly in his work of citrus fruits that she will keep with fervour in her future recipes.

At the end of this first experience, she left for the City of Lights, where she discovered Parisian starred bistronomy. But it was back in Lyon that she decided to set up on her own place to share her vision of cuisine, in a much more personal way, closer to her image and roots.Her success was inevitable from the start: in Megève, Courchevel or even Saint-Tropez, Ella and her cuisine traveled to the most beautiful French destinations. 

A NEW START TO THE PHOCAEAN CITY

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She then decided to go to Latin America, to recharge her batteries and find inspiration, for a year. She came back from this trip with a head full of memories and new recipes. Guided by an inextricable desire to rediscover her southern roots and the sea so dear to her heart, she moved to Marseille with her companion. She then resumed her activity as a private chef at various homes before being contacted by the concept store Jogging, offering a unique opportunity that will allow her to make a name for herself in the gastronomic world of the Phocaean city. She then offered her spicy and delicate cuisine to an increasingly curious clientele. 

Following Covid-19 and the closure of restaurants, Ella has regained her culinary freedom and continues contact with Le Collectionist to flourish behind the stoves. She talks about this collaboration as a chance to give free rein to her vision of cooking, for a clientele that is ready to make new discoveries. It is most especially the opportunity for her to explore the recipes of the south of France, by revisiting them without ever distorting the tradition. 

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A CUISINE IN her IMAGE

Ella Aflalo's cuisine resembles her: it is sparkling, imaginative, feminine, generous, and refined. When you sit down at her table, you rediscover the local recipes and those that rocked your childhood, but brought up to date and re-worked with passion. Ella is a lover of plants and so on her plates, she has fun vegetables and explores all the possibilities available to her. Whether through cooking, cutting, or assembling, nothing is left to chance.

According to Ella, there are no limits when cooking vegetables, and she works the vegetable as one could with meat.

Today, the young chef thrives in the intimate setting of homes, which is the ideal condition for her guests to experience a moment of sharing, passion and curiosity. All of this through an explosive and spicy cuisine, marked by her Mediterranean and oriental origins.

ELLA'S TIPS FOR DISCOVERING MARSEILLE

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Having been in the south of France for several years, Ella Aflalo gave us her best spots and addresses to discover the Phocaean city.

On the seaside, we deviate off the beaten track to discover the Calanques de Niolon, between L'Estaque and Carry le Rouet. We walk the hiking trails above the water to reach the old port and the picturesque town, enclosed in the creeks. The view over Frioul and Marseille is exceptional, and the military fort also houses a diving center that might make you want to explore the Mediterranean coasts. 

Ella will have many great addresses to recommend in town, but there is above all a typical dish, a guilty pleasure that she warmly recommends: pasta with pourtargue, a traditional recipe with a very salty taste that the chef does not stop praising. 

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Contact our luxury concierge to book an exceptional moment with your loved ones, and let yourself be carried away by the unique work of Ella Aflalo and her fiery temperament. Between spices, acidity, and sweetness, she plays with tastes and flavours to have you discover new horizons.

Also explore our collection of luxury villas in Marseille and discover all the services offered by our concierges at Le Collectionist.

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