Alan Geaam *
The story of Paris chef Alan Geaam’s life would have all the makings of the plot of a Graham Greene novel, except for the fact that it’s had such a sunny happy denouement. The 42-year-old chef was born to Lebanese parents in Liberia, and lived in Lebanon, the United States, Italy, and the Czech Republic before arriving in France 20 years ago. He spoke no French and had only about $100 in his pocket, but found work in a variety of restaurant kitchens, where he realised his true passion.
Today, self-taught Geaam owns and runs four restaurants in Paris: L’Auberge Nicolas Flamel, the oldest restaurant in the city, AG Saint-Germain, AG Les Halles, and his latest, Restaurant Alan Geaam, which opened in the 16th this spring.
Geaam’s signatures are a deep respect for the natural tastes of the best quality French produce he works with and a fascinating use of spices, like the vadouvan (a French curry mixture that includes curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek and other spices).