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Mory Sacko: portrait of the chef to whom everything smiles

Mory Sacko is the coolest guy around. One of the biggest too. In every sense of the term. Two meters tall, a devastating smile, Converse, black pants and T-shirt, he welcomes you by offering to go and make you a coffee, before sitting down at a corner of the table in his Parisian restaurant in the 14th arrondissement, MoSuke. The young chef has just celebrated his 31st birthday in style. After Michel Guérard in 1976 and Alain Ducasse in 2001, he is on the front page of the prestigious “Time”, in its “Time100Next” edition, that is to say, neither more nor less, the leaders of tomorrow. A consecration for this young man in a hurry, who, as those who nominated him pointed out, “offers a completely new face to French gastronomy”. And the icing on the cake, his portrait in the American magazine is by Omar Sy: “He has become a master of the culinary arts, and his recipe is to never give up anything about who he is. »

Japan, countryside, home cooking

But who is this boy that the United States envy us, at the head of a gourmet restaurant whose reservations open every two months fill up in less than ten minutes, two others who offer sublime and accessible street food, Mosugo, and who hosts the show “Cuisine Ouvert” every week on France 3? The sixth of nine children, a father working in construction, a mother a housekeeper, Mory Sacko grew up in Tournan-en-Brie, a small town in Seine-et-Marne.

“I lived at the end of the RER E. But really at the end of the end. Afterwards it’s the countryside and the cows! I only have happy memories from my childhood. With my friends, we cycled in the fields, we went to pick blackberries at the neighbor’s house. At home, I was very close to my brothers, Madioké and Kombosé, with whom I shared my room. My heroes at the time were Ronaldinho, Zidane and Thierry Henry. Football was my whole life: on the console, then in the street after school, and in the evening on TV. I was also a fan of the “Club Dorothée” cartoons: “Goldorak”, “Nicky Larson”, “Dragon Ball Z”… The whole world of manga fascinated me, and that’s where my love for Japanese culture. » Without forgetting the lungs of the house, the kitchen, the den of the mother, who ran a restaurant of her own with eleven mouths to feed for lunch and dinner, not to mention the friends and neighbors who feasted on her thiéboudiène, attiéké, yassa chicken…

His dream is life in a palace

“I was hungry all the time. Cooking wasn’t my thing, but I remember the gestures, I see my mother pounding chili peppers in large mortars, cooking each ingredient in different pots…” And then there are the summers in Mali, where he visited every other year. And the discovery of the Bamako market, its hubbub, the heady smell of smoked fish. All this remained anchored in him. As a teenager, anyone who listens to Booba, Disiz, Passi over and over decides to pursue a BEP in cooking. “However, I was a good student, and at the time, it seemed like a siding. Cooking wasn’t really sexy, but I wanted to do something with my life. » His dream is life in a palace. The one he glimpses in shows like “50′ Inside”.

The beginning of glory

After his BEP, Mory Sacko sent a cover letter to all the 5-stars in the capital and became a clerk at Le Collectionneur, before joining the Royal Monceau under the caring leadership of Hans Zahner, his first mentor, and finally getting his place in a palace, the Shangri-La. “There, I discovered excellence with cooks who came from starred restaurants. One day, my boss asked me to make him a dish. I started with marinated duck with sweet potato puree and raspberries. He loved it and put it on the menu for a week. I discovered something amazing, customer feedback, and the joy of bringing happiness to others. » At 22, he was recruited by his idol, Thierry Marx, at the head of the Mandarin Oriental, who took him as sous chef. “We had a passion for Japan in common. Then I love the journey of this man of a thousand lives who offers super creative cuisine. »

Top Chef” offered me a great showcase

Four years of intense learning, and the certainty that he was not mistaken. He then decided to open his own restaurant: “I had the idea of ​​combining French gastronomy with my Malian origins. But every time I tried a dish, I found that it was missing a little something. It was when I decided to put miso in my chicken yassa that the spark came. This dish took me elsewhere, and I set up the MoSuke project. » Or that of a singular and daring cuisine, based on an original Franco-African-Japanese triptych, served in a place whose name would be the contraction of his and Yasuke, a black slave who became a samurai. At the same time, he signed up for “Top Chef” and reached the quarter-finals. “The show, broadcast during confinement, had a huge impact. The day after my elimination, I was feeling pretty upset, but that was the day I went to visit this place in the 14th and knew I had found my restaurant. »

Opened thanks to personal financing and the help of his family, the place immediately aroused the curiosity of gourmets, seduced by its perfect egg served in a dashi broth, its turbot and plantain with shito sauce, or its ganache with chocolate and wasabi siphon. ““Top Chef” gave me a great showcase and probably allowed me to win five years. I even brought my parents, who were a little unsettled. My mother thought the plates were too small and she kept saying “but that’s not chicken yassa!” »

Shut up, watch and learn

Unfortunately, the great adventure clashes with the reality of a global pandemic. The establishment opened in September 2020 closes two months later. The one whose motto is “Shut up, observe and learn” immediately offers takeaway meals, including a fried chicken burger to die for with plantain sticks. Enough to give him the idea of ​​opening two MoSugo (MoSuke to go) a little later, far from his gastro menu at 190 euros. In January 2021, he received a phone call from the prestigious Michelin guide announcing that he had been named young chef of the year. “I couldn’t believe it. I had only been open a few weeks and they had already tasted my cooking. I found myself at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower alongside Hélène Darroze, Pierre Hermé and Pierre Gagnaire. And there, they announced to me that I had won my first star. I was overcome with emotion. »

The first person he calls is Émilie, his partner, with whom he has worked since the beginning. “This victory is ours. It was I who went to poach her. She did Dauphine and has a master’s degree in business management, and we built everything together. » They even posed for a Ralph Lauren campaign at the end of 2021, as well as with his two older brothers and his nephews and nieces. Because among the Sackos, undermining is important. “I’ve always loved fashion, and one of my favorite designers is Rick Owens. But my role model was Virgil Abloh. I followed him from the beginning. He gave me strength and courage. In terms of inspiration, it was very strong, not because he is black, but because he is talented. »

In a few days, Mory Sacko will open Lafayette’s, in the prestigious Mazin hotel, rue d’Anjou, in Paris, with the Moma Group: 400 square meters, one hundred seats and brasserie cuisine revisited with its cosmopolitan flavor. A new major project for those who are constantly reinventing themselves. And who, despite a dazzling journey, never stops cultivating his humility. “You know, in my house, I was the sixth child. I was one of the last. In my head, I will always be a little one. »

William

I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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