A lesson in Parisian profanities with the chef behind Vivant.
Pierre Touitou, the 24-year-old chef behind charming Parisian bistro Vivant, is just the type of floppy-haired man-about-town that you might hope would show you his city.
“The weekend is about love, rest and parties… and you never know what will be the priority,” he says, without clarifying further. After closing up at his lively 25-seat restaurant, where he can be found conjuring up simple plates of Sardinian pasta behind the bar’s marble counter, Pierre heads a few doors down to Hôtel Bourbon, a club that prides itself on being the stomping ground of the city’s bright young things. The following day, lunch at seafood restaurant Clamato dusts away cocktail-induced cobwebs, after which Pierre heads to Champ Libre, his favorite flower shop, to prepare for the week ahead. “I spend a couple of hours rearranging the flower setup at Vivant while listening to some loud music,” he says. Pierre enjoys going out to restaurants as much as he enjoys manning his own. Childhood haunt Marché Raspail, an organic Sunday market which boasts stalls of gleaming produce, is a nostalgic spot to check out what’s in season. From there, he recommends a short wander over to narrow sushi bar Tsukizi, also in the 6th Arrondissement and a favorite with Pierre due to its “perfectly executed” fish. When night falls, conclude your gastronomic tour at Capitaine, a new restaurant from Pierre’s former colleague, chef Baptiste Day.
Should you fail to secure a table? There’s only one thing to do: Make like a Parisian and curse with passion. “The best advice I can give to someone who’s visiting Paris for the first time is to say PUTAIN! all day long, to anyone,” says Pierre, a “strong believer” that France’s most prolifically used swear word captures the capital’s spirit in two clipped syllables. “That word inspires me in the best and the worst of ways.”
43 Rue des Petites Écuries