Chef Mauro Colagreco Talks His Favorite Food and Travel Experiences

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If there’s one thing chef Mauro Colagreco knows it’s excellent food.

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The Argentine-born chef behind three Michelin-starred Mirazur in the French Riviera—number three among San Pellegrino’s 50 best restaurants in the world—also has restaurants throughout France, China, Buenos Aires, and now Palm Beach. So, it’s no surprise that Mauro Colagreco, an American Express Global Dining Collection partner, knows a thing or two about great food from all around the world. We spoke with him about his favorite culinary and travel experiences in his homeland of Argentina, in France, and beyond.

In your home country, Argentina, do you have any favorite restaurants you’d want travelers to know about?

I was born in La Plata, Argentina and I regularly go back there and to Buenos Aires. I love Parrilla Don Julio in Buenos Aires because the meat is incredible. I would also recommend Narda Comedor for breakfast or lunch and Tegui for dinner, both of which are in Buenos Aires.

Beyond Argentina, are there any restaurants that are, in your opinion, worth traveling for?

Quintonil in Mexico City, Noma in Copehagen, Narisawa in Mexico, Narisawa in Tokyo, and Mirazur in Menton, of course.

Where did you travel last, and where will you go next?

In the beginning of April I traveled to Melbourne, Australia for a private dinner. I’ve been to Australia many times before, but I love the feeling of Melbourne as a city—the people, the modern architecture, and the great cappuccinos everywhere you go. My next trip is back home to Argentina. Both of my parents are Argentineans and the country remains very close to my heart.

Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled, and what is the most memorable meal you ate there?

I can’t say I have a favorite destination as every place I visit leaves me with something different. I would say I love to go back home more than anywhere else because I know my mother will be cooking her Argentinian stew.

Is there a dish or recipe you’ve discovered while traveling that you like to cook at your restaurants?

While traveling in the middle of Italy up in the mountains I discovered the sweet flavor of lavender flowers combined with cheese. I decided to pair lavender flowers with goat cheese for an event I took part in and the result was just beautiful.

Have you had a memorable meal while traveling that you’ll never forget?

I’ve had many, but one that stands out was while traveling in China. I had the best Cantonese-style duck prepared by a family. And in Japan I had a memorable dashi so rich in umami I will never forget it.

What is your number one bucket-list trip and why?

Bhutan measures the gross national happiness for its inhabitants, something I’m fascinated by. It was also announced as the "greenest" country in the world for its policies aimed to safeguard nature. I think we can all take inspiration from this tiny, yet great country.