A slew of luxury hotels are opening in Paris during the next few
months—but who will head their kitchens? Instead of high-profile
heavyweights, the trend is toward promising unknowns. David Gutman, a
30-year-old with a stint at the Hôtel de Crillon on his résumé, is
already in charge at the Metropolitan, which opened this past spring.
Slated to receive its first guests early in 2010, the Royal Monceau has
signed Laurent André, a young protégé of Alain Ducasse. And Philippe
Labbé, who quietly scored two Michelin stars for Chèvre d’Or, his
discreet perch in the village of Eze, has just relocated to the Paris
Shangri-La, also opening early next year. Meanwhile, the new Crowne
Plaza on Avenue Marceau is keeping everyone guessing: Rumors were
swirling that three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire was all set to move in,
though knowledgeable sources deny it.