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Franck Baranger

Serving French bistronomy


Franck Baranger works in the kitchens of the Pantruche and Caillebotte restaurants, located in Southern Pigalle. Both restaurants have become a must-go for gourmets. Here is a portrait of one of the best figures of Paris bistronomy.  


Bistronomy in the heart of Pigalle

His pace is fast, his smile is wide and he is a bit late. Franck Baranger is a busy chef, but a precise man. When he talks, he never overreacts; his point is to be clear. Indeed, not only did his skills in the kitchen bring praises from food experts, it also brought attention to the media. In five years, Franck Baranger opened two restaurants in the 9th district of Paris, which brought him to the front scene of Parisian bistronomy.

There is a simple concept behind this portmanteau word: to mix refined cuisine with affordable price. When a bistro-style restaurant welcomes gastronomy, the association gives birth to the Pantruche. The word means Paris in French slang. It is also the name of the first restaurant the chef and his associates have opened. The three friends have found the name on the cover of a book by Fernand Trignol, a great friend of actor Jean Gabin. The book was also subtitled... "Memories of a gangster".

Franck Baranger would never consider crime, though: the young chef always gives back due gratitude to those who trained him. Baranger only kept the best of Trignol's bad boys: the sense of teamwork and family. This is a way to make the most of the opportunities: "I never really chose what I wanted to do; everything was just a matter of meetings and chance".


In the footprints of several stars

His love for good food comes from far in the past. His mother used to prepare dinner since early morning: "I would gulp my breakfast surrounded by flavours of Burgundy beef stew." At the time, the kid couldn't imagine that one could make a living out of cooking, until his friends during training in the hotel industry would tell him how life was in their restaurant brigade. He became an apprentice in the Ecole de Paris des Métiers de la Table and learnt his art with the most prestigious masters. One of them was Christian Constant, who had just opened the Violon d'Ingres. "This was the most difficult restaurant I ever worked in", says Franck Baranger. Constant's brigade is also a talents pool: Christian Etchebest, Éric Fréchon, Yves Camdeborde, etc. The list of chefs who worked there before accessing to fame is impressive.

They all have at least one thing in common: having multiplied bridges between gastronomy and bistro cuisine. Franck Baranger was just 20 years old when he joined Éric Fréchon in the Bristol in 2000: "We met in a palace where we worked on mackerel, whiting, etc. The whole team had practiced in bistros. "


From the Pantruche to the Caillebotte

After his first experiences, Franck Baranger collaborated with his former friends from the hotel school, Édouard Bobin and Nicolas Chatelain: "we always said we would open our first restaurant together." At the time, the trend was in Basque restaurants. They meant to open a Parisian bistro. The restaurant was meant to illustrate the soul of its neighbourhood. The Pantruche, located at the foot of the Montmartre hill, opened in 2010. Three years later, the Caillebotte opened a stone's throw away.

The two restaurants work according to the same recipe: a small team, direct relationships with producers, a menu created according to the products, a lunchtime menu at 19 Euros and a menu starter / main dish / dessert at 35 Euros.


"Love of good food is back"

Franck Baranger's cuisine is a wise balance between refinement and simplicity, between tradition and modernity. The products used are typical French gastronomy products: sweetbread, beef cheek, pork belly, oysters or French fishes. Long forgotten vegetables such as the Jerusalem artichoke are trendy again. Strawberries are flavoured with elderberry flower, the Grand-Marnier soufflé comes with salty caramel.

Franck Baranger relies on traditions: "In the Pantruche and the Caillebotte, we always served dishes with sauce or juice: it is very important to us." A few years back, the trend was to refine the dishes: "The most positive element was the respect we had for the products we used. The problem was that the products ended up superimposed on one another. It was beautiful and delicious, but it lacked a good bond." Today, Franck Baranger notes with satisfaction that "good food is back on the trend".

Lunchtime is about to begin. Vigilant and smiling, as always, the chef leaves: he is being called back to the Caillebotte. Time to comfort the Parisians' love for food.


Le Pantruche, 3 Rue Victor Masse (Paris 9e) – +33 1 48 78 55 60
Le Caillebotte, 8 Rue Hippolyte Lebas (Paris 9e) – +33 1 53 20 88 70

Open Monday to Friday (12:30 to 14:30, 19:30 to 22:30)


Closed 3 weeks in August, one week in Christmas time