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Posted on
Friday 13 May 2022

Chef Yousri Ben-Jeday has been in charge of the kitchen at the Pullman Toulouse Centre Ramblas hotel since 2019. With over 10 years' experience in prestigious establishments in southwest France, he is now delighting the taste buds of guests at the Dans le Noir ? Toulouse restaurant, also located within the Pullman hotel. We tell you more about his background, how he sees this new challenge, and his secrets for delighting you in total darkness.

  • Please introduce yourself. What's your background?

I trained as a pastry chef and worked for several years in Carcassonne, notably at the Hôtel de la Cité. I also worked in a number of Michelin-starred establishments in the Aude region. I then moved into cooking and luxury hotels. I joined the Pullman Toulouse Centre Ramblas hotel in 2014 as second chef before being promoted to Chef in 2019.

  • How would you describe your culinary style?

My culinary style is defined by bistro cuisine that remains accessible to everyone. With my team, we prepare southwestern dishes that are both simple and straightforward, so as not to distort the product. I like to prepare good dishes like garbure, braised beef cheek or foie gras in all its forms. In short, simply convivial cuisine.

  • In October 2021, the Dans le Noir ? Toulouse restaurant will open at the Pullman, and you'll be the chef of this special concept. How do you see this challenge?

It's a new challenge for me, given that it's a menu that's enjoyed in a very special context, in total darkness. We have to be precise and accurate, and make sure that the experience is a memorable one for our customers. As I trained as a pastry chef, I always work with different textures in my dishes. However, the visual aspect counts, and that's a criterion that has to be put aside. You really have to rethink the whole plate.

  • How do you adapt to customers' allergies/intolerances?

My team and I have done a lot of upstream work. We list the main allergies and define substitute foods, while respecting the basic idea of the dish.

  • What's your favorite dish?

Lemon tart is my favorite dessert because I love the acidity of this fruit. I like to prepare a variation on this dessert by working with different citrus fruits. I start with a hazelnut shortcrust pastry, and then superimpose several layers of citrus fruits, including yuzu lemon, clementine and yellow lemon.

  • Which chefs inspire you the most?

There are a lot of them. I'd like to give a nod to those who trained me: Chef Jérôme Ryon of the Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne, Chef Gilles Goujon, Chef Franck Putelat and many others. They've all left their mark on me in their own way, and have defined the way I work today. What I remember most is Chef Jérôme Ryon's personality, professionalism and rigor. He's humble, precise and instructive.

  • What's your best culinary memory?

A meal at Chef Ferran Adrià's El Bulli restaurant, because it was an extraordinary discovery of texture and taste, a unique experience. He's a genius!

  • What's your favorite restaurant in Toulouse?

I really like the restaurant Cécile (43 place des Carmes) with Chef Florent Boisseau in Toulouse and also the restaurant La verrière (7 Rue Joutx Aigues) with Chef Hervé Bourg. We're all about refined yet accessible cuisine, led by good chefs.

  • Finally, what does Dans le Noir ? mean to you?

With my team, it's an opportunity to redefine the dish in a different way, without artifice, to make new creations and to meet our customers' expectations in a different way than in a traditional restaurant. As a chef, this allows me to challenge myself and refocus on what's essential: taste.


Book now to discover chef Yousri Ben-Jeday's cuisine and enjoy some family time on the weekend of May 29!

Receive your gift card (valid for one year) in just a few clicks in your mailbox to surprise your mom! We're sure you'll find something to suit her.

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