Local productsTuesday 12 September 2017

Here’s where to have a “starred” menu in Nice with only €11

Located in Rue Cronstadt, Nice, the Restaurant solidaire du Forum Jorge-François has turned 3 and still has an amazing price list: €7 for the dish of the day, and only €11 for the entire menu. The practising Christian “starred” chef is far from greedy and doesn’t keep any of his earnings for himself.

Whenever Father Gil Florini, the parish priest of goodwill of the Église Saint-Pierre-d’Arène (Rue de France), is involved in something, success is guaranteed. The priest has opened a shop in the Vieux Nice to offer monastic products made by himself like alcohol-free drink like the Cola de Nice or alcohol ones like “pastis”. Moreover, in the rooms facing Rue Cronstadt below the church Father Florini opened a high-quality charity restaurant three years ago. 


This is the Restaurant solidaire du Forum Jorge-François. It has employed people, especially those under observation by the social services, who are seeking to learn a job by being shadowed by a “starred” élite chef named Philippe Bouchet. The practising Christian chef is far from greedy and doesn’t keep any of his earnings from the restaurant for himself: with that money he has offered 1,503 free meals in 2015, 1,662 in 2016 and 1.337 this year so far. In short one free meal is given to people in need for every seven customers.


What is baffling the local people is not this - and not even that the restaurant could be awarded several Michelin stars because of its high-quality food; it is instead the price. The dish of the day, in fact, only costs €7 and the full menu €11: that is why the restaurant is always crowded at lunch and it is hard to find free seats.


Many people attend this local also because of the afternoon initiatives such as art, English, cooking and even magic courses.


The relationship with the other caterers of the neighbourhood was indeed stiff at first as they didn’t welcome such a strong competition with such a good-quality food. Now it also seems to have improved thanks to Father Florini’s goodwill and his admirable initiatives.

Nicola Gambaro

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