“One night, I dreamed of a red recipe, probably peppers. I’ll make a big deal out of it, and it’ll be called 3:58.”

Glenn Viel, in his restaurant L'Oustau de Baumanière, in Baux-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), April 5, 2022.

According to his own statistics, Glenn Viel is in the kitchen 97% of the time the restaurant is open and his life boils down to ” work sleeping “. For the aperitif he takes at snack time, between the lunch and evening service, he runs on sparkling water and comes in an apron and chef’s clogs. When he sinks into the cream sofa on the terrace of L’Oustau de Baumanière, the restaurant in Baux-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône) where he has officiated for seven years, he lets out a discreet sigh.

“I haven’t stopped since the reopening on March 18. We have just redone the kitchen… 2.3 million euros invested by the owner, Mr. Charial [lui-même ancien chef étoilé]. And there, we are in the process of creating a place for craftsmen, with three shops: a potter, a baker and a chocolate maker,” he explains, stretching out his hand towards the garden from which escapes the staccato of a jackhammer. “The house may be 76 years old, but you have to show that it is still young and dynamic. » Like its 42-year-old boss – married, two children – whose life has changed radically over the past two years.

In 2020, when he had followed a somewhat disorganized solitary career, sailing between Bora-Bora, Moscow and the south of France, Glenn Viel became the youngest three-star chef in France. After establishing himself in the small world of gastronomy, he entered the French living room by joining the jury for the new season of “Top Chef”, broadcast on M6 since February. On the screen, he seduces candidates with his three-star aura as much as spectators with his good comrade attitude.

A dyslexic joker

In fact, it’s the same. Friendly and invested, he bends to the photographer’s demands without flinching. He lets the interview go on for two hours, ignoring a dozen calls, and apologizing each time he greets customers. Each question – even when it concerns her bun – is treated with serious substance… and in a slightly joking tone that gives the impression that it wouldn’t take much for Glenn Viel to leave his stature of venerable chef. . “I thought of being a comedian, he slips. But when I was a teenager, it wasn’t a job. »

“I don’t have a big culture, but I’m still thinking. I think deep down, I’m a creative”

A native of Brittany, he continues to move all over France, according to the transfers of his father, a soldier; his mother, a cleaning lady, follows. In the 1990s, if his side “disconnector” allows young Glenn to be “the leader in the playground”, class hours are more difficult. Hyperactive, dyslexic, he has trouble keeping still, which does not please his military father. “At school, I was good at nothing, remembers the chef. Having minus 30 at a dictation is not funny. And again, minus 30, it was a good day. I didn’t necessarily get the looks of benevolent adults. When you are told all the time that you are dumb, you end up believing it. It’s only been five or six years since…”

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