The Parisian terroir is the land where Yannick Alléno was born, the Parisian region’s agricultural land that urban sprawl and rural exodus have reduced to ever-fewer hectares.
In 2008, Yannick Alléno became aware that the disappearance of hundreds of native species from this land would be a tragedy, and set out on a mission to meet local producers of quality products. His goal: save the region’s agricultural heritage.
So began a long process of research: finding the best producers in the region, their products and lost recipes. At the same time, he led a painstaking investigation to find the last farmers still using their rich land to grow species such as Pontoise cabbage, Argenteuil asparagus and Gâtinais saffron. The idea was to find the original seeds – and the growers who still cultivated them – and so recover the most authentic varieties.
In total, it took two years of research to rediscover products from truly healthy agriculture. Like peppermint from Milly-La-Forêt, peaches from Montreuil, artichoke from Paris, and massive spinach from Viroflay.
In 2012, four years after he began his culinary mission, he opened the first restaurant dedicated to the cause: Terroir Parisien. Yannick Alléno made a deliberate choice to create the kind of restaurant he was intimately familiar with. A bistro, like the ones his parents had run.
He just needed to define what an authentic bistro would look like today. He decided on a simple, unadulterated and modern space, with welcoming décor that uses natural materials like cobblestones, zinc, wood and leather to blend with understated colours. In the centre of the room stands an imposing bar, which creates a friendly and lively atmosphere.
The culinary concept for Terroir Parisien is simple: fabulous products from the Île-de-France region around Paris; a simple and generous menu made of generous, delicious and seasonal dishes from the region; daily specials and menus based on what is available at market.