PORTRAIT OF JULIEN, MAITRE D’HOTEL AT SEZZ SAINT TROPEZThe Sezz Saint Tropez employs an enthusiastic and dedicated team whose primary mission is to make your stay unforgettable. This month, we are pleased to present you Julien GAIGNIER, maitre d’hôtel at Sezz, whose good mood is matched only by his dedication to his work. In a candid Q and A interview, a portrait emerges of a man who is passionately committed to your well-being and who aims to offer an exceptional level of service.
Before arriving at Hotel Sezz Saint Tropez, which professional path did Julien Gaignier take?Julien has always been drawn to gastronomy, and after starting his career at ‘l’Assiette Champenoise’ he took seasonal positions in Megeve and Saint-Tropez. Looking to enrich both his personal and professional life, Julien spent 6 months in England where he also perfected his English. He then moved to Reims where he spent three years at ‘Les Crayeres’. A diverse path, but a rewarding one that was marked by gastronomic awards, and which lead to his position of the past three years at the Sezz Saint Tropez.
What are his responsibilities in Restaurant Colette? How many people are there in your team?The position of maitre d’hôtel demands that Julien performs several tasks. Firstly, he is responsible for managing customer relations. This is an integral part of the business, and he is adamant that your visit should be a success. He also oversees service in the bar and restaurant. Julien deals with the development of new menus and is also responsible for staff training. He is aided in his duties by an assistant, a head barman and a breakfast manager. In low season, the team consists of ten people, but during the summer season a full team of fifteen people is employed to look after you.
What are the key moments of his everyday life?According to Julien, the most significant moments are those he shares with customers. It’s this interaction that makes his job a real pleasure.
How would you describe the atmosphere of the restaurant for guests wishing to have dinner or lunch?You will feel perfectly at home in Restaurant Colette. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, and the team like to instil a sense of confidence by listening to their customers.
What differentiates Colette from other restaurants in St-Tropez?According to Julien, it’s this proximity, this closeness to customers that makes Restaurant Colette unique. This proximity is also felt in the cuisine served named "kitchen buddies". With the new menu for this year, the grill is at the heart of the restaurant’s cuisine.
What are the starter / main / dessert "favourites" on the menu that Julien would recommend to clients?As a starter, he is torn between the fine platter of tender Iberian ham, and the courgette flower fritter with sardines and prawns. A difficult choice ! For the main dish, he strongly recommends the Sezz Grill if you are meat lovers! Poultry, sausage, Iberian pork, sirloin, beef tenderloin and duck: your taste buds are in for a treat. And to end on a gourmet note, go for a tasty mango and passion fruit floating island with calamondin foam.
And what wine would complement this dish?To accompany the Sezz Grill, Julien recommends two local wines: let yourself be tempted by a red wine, try a ‘Chateau Esclans Goddess’ or a ‘Minuty Rouge et Or’ and you won’t be disappointed.
Regarding the vineyards of Provence, Colette restaurant works with a local winemaker?Restaurant Colette works with several local winemakers whose product quality is exceptional, including Château Barbeyrolles, Minuty and Château Marres.
What makes the work at Sezz enjoyable?What makes the Sezz exceptional when compared with other establishments is the level of autonomy and trust within the team. Julien appreciates the management’s confidence and their invaluable input.
Finally a little anecdote about life at Sezz Saint-Tropez?Julien has enjoyed many moments of complicity and intrigue with his clients at Restaurant Colette. However, he is anxious to respect those confidences and won’t reveal anything today. You can be certain that your secrets will be well kept at Hotel Sezz !
Sezz Saint Tropez, a 5 star luxury and design hotel in Saint Tropez